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Governor amends flooding disaster declaration and activates the state's public assistance and individual assistance disaster recovery programs

Matthew Faubion
Alaska Public Media

An Alaska Organized Militia (AKOM) team arrived in Bethel on Monday, May 22, and will clean up debris in Crooked Creek and Kwethluk. Donated disaster relief supplies were delivered Monday, and the Salvation Army and American Red Cross are coordinating the delivery of food supplies and shelter support operations. Tents for first responder lodging and a command post have been ordered.

According to a press release, Gov. Mike Dunleavy has amended his May 15 flooding disaster declaration and activated the State of Alaska Public Assistance and Individual Assistance Disaster Recovery programs in more areas, including McGrath, Kwethluk, and St. Mary’s. This is in addition to the Alaska Gateway, Yukon Flats, Kuspuk, and Copper River Regional Education Attendance Area, which were declared on May 13.

Public assistance can reimburse communities for emergency protective measures associated with the disaster event and can fund repairs to damaged critical infrastructure. Individual assistance can provide grants to individuals and families to repair their homes, pay for essential needs, and provide temporary housing.

Registration for individual assistance for the 2023 Spring Flooding Disaster will open on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 when disaster survivors can call the state’s Disaster Assistance Hotline at 844-445-7131 to register over the phone. Online registration will be available at after May 24, 2023.

Information about the State of Alaska Individual Assistance program can be found at or

The state emergency services division’s flooding update from Tuesday, May 23, is that the Riverwatch Middle Yukon Division has been demobilized. The breakup front is now near Russian Mission. Once the ice front passes, snow melt flood risk may still continue to threaten communities.

Active response is ongoing to communities across the upper and middle Yukon River with flood impacts. Some flooding is reported in Tanana, Ruby, and Galena, but most damage is upstream in Stevens Village, Fort Yukon, and Circle.

An Alaska Organized Militia (AKOM) team composed of Air National Guard, Army National Guard, and Alaska Defense Force arrived in Fairbanks on May 22 and will deploy to Circle on May 23 to assist the community with debris cleanup. Team Rubicon deployed a volunteer reconnaissance team to evaluate community needs and scope the work required to assist residents with residential flood damage cleanup.

A team from the Alaska Division of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Spill Prevention and Response (SPAR) will deploy to provide additional spill response supplies, establish a local hazardous waste collection point, and complete additional hazards assessments. To date, the American Red Cross reports six homes destroyed, 10 with major damage, five with minor damage, and three inaccessible. Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) reports that its community wellhead was cleared and appears undamaged.

Francisco Martínezcuello is the KYUK News Reporting Fellow and a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Journalism. He is also a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.