Flooding inevitable, but taxpayers shouldn’t pay

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Friday, February 09, 2007

Flooding again on the Kenai River? It seems everyone is surprised again.

Let’s look back a ways. I have lived on the Kenai Peninsula for 37 years. Am I the only one who doesn’t seem surprised the river has flooded again? I can recall many times the Big Eddy area has flooded.

I listened to Mayer Dave Carey on Sound Off (radio) talking about flooding at Big Eddy and a few other places along the river. Don’t take me wrong, I think Dave Carey is one of the best mayors we have had in Soldotna for many years. However, this time all he was talking about was let’s move

forward, learn from this and make things better the next time. He wants to move ahead with applying for disaster relief.

Why should there be a next time? I believe we are talking about bailing out the same people again because of flooding. Yes, we can apply for disaster relief. That is a government program that a lot of people seem to want to take advantage of over and over. I ask a question I think is on many people’s minds these days: Why do we keep bailing these people out time after time because of flooding? Let’s all face it, they know they live in a flood zone. I don’t live on the river but do live close to the river and you know, I choose to build on high ground.

People have choices. These choices aren’t all good ones. The people who live in the flood zone made that choice to live there. Because they did, they and only they should have to cover any cost of rebuilding, not we taxpayers. So why should taxpayers keep bailing them out time after time even if it is through disaster relief? Let’s face it, no matter what we do, the Kenai River will flood again some day.

When the river floods without ice, things just get wet. However, when there is ice in the river, things get destroyed. The people who don’t live in the flood zone should not have to help pay for any cleanup or repairs on any private property whether it is locally paid or with disaster relief.

Property destroyed that is city property is another matter. I know that if we rebuild any way similar to what was along the river, it will be destroyed again. That could be next year or the year after, but it will happen. With that said, I give Mr. Carey a challenge to have the work engineered in a way so the walkways can be removed for winter so we as citizens of Soldotna won’t have to keep paying for the same projects over and over.

Allen Dorman


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