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Public Safety

Sleetmute has received emergency donations from YKHC following flooding

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Olivia Ebertz
/
KYUK
The recent flooding turned homes and neighborhoods in Sleetmute into islands.

Two agencies are sending donations to the villages of Sleetmute and Red Devil after ice jams caused flooding over the weekend of May 7.

The recent flooding turned homes and neighborhoods in both Sleetmute and Red Devil into islands. The villages sit about 9 miles apart along the Kuskokwim River. The water damaged roads and homes in both communities and washed out a portion of the airstrip in Red Devil, which is the only way in and out of the town right now. The closure has made it impossible to get supplies into the community.

The airstrip in Sleetmute remains undamaged. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) said that it was able to deliver supplies to the community on May 10, including meals, water sampling kits, drinking water, safety gear, industrial drying fans, and information on how to clean after floods. YKHC said that it plans to drop off similar items in Red Devil once the village’s runway fully reopens.

The Red Cross of Alaska also plans to make deliveries to the two communities. A spokesperson for the group said that it intends to send out Red Cross volunteers with "immediacy," but did not say when it will do so. He said that the volunteers will hand out blankets, personal toiletries, and kits with items to help people clean flooded homes and buildings. The Red Cross spokesperson said that can help mitigate mold and other long term issues caused by flooding. He also said that the Red Cross will help document damage by taking photos and speaking to people in the communities.

A spokesperson for the Association of Village Council Presidents said that the organization, along with the Alaska Emergency Operations Center, is helping to coordinate donations and aid to Red Devil and Sleetmute.

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