President Biden increases federal aid cost share to 100% to Western Alaska communities affected by Typhoon Merbok

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 4:48 PM AKDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 5:43 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - President Biden honored the Alaska delegations request to waive the state’s cost share for relief to communities affected by the storm that hit Western Alaska.

The president placed an order increasing the federal share for emergency assistance for the impacted areas to 100% of the total cost for the first 30 days following the incident. This is an increase from the original 75% federal cost that was approved on September 23.

On September 16, remnants of Typhoon Merbok wreaked havoc along 1,000 miles of coastline in western Alaska, causing widespread damage and disruption of life for numerous communities in the area. Homes and businesses were flooded, fish camps were destroyed; vehicles, boats, and equipment were damaged or lost, roads and bridges were flooded or washed away, and power and water was disrupted.

Alaska U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Representative Mary Peltola, and Governor Mike Dunleavy expressed gratitude and applauded President Biden’s decision to waive the State of Alaska’s cost share for individual and public assistance recovery efforts.

Governor Dunleavy stated, “Rural Alaska is tough, but this storm damaged critical infrastructure and personal property – a cost too great to handle alone, which is why we asked for additional federal help. Thank you to the Biden Administration for waiving 100 percent of the State’s cost share for additional disaster assistance. Alaska’s Congressional Delegation and I know the waiver will go a long way in helping repair the damage to these communities. Let’s get our Alaskan families back on their feet.”

Senator Murkowski said, “The storm damage from Typhoon Merbok is severe and the recovery needs are extensive. I saw destruction in every impacted community I visited - damage to infrastructure like roads in Elim, homes floated off of their foundations in Golovin, extensive flood damage, subsistence camps literally wiped out, taking boats, nets, and four-wheelers. This waiver will go a long way in the regions’ road to recovery, and with freeze-up just weeks away, approval of this waiver couldn’t have come soon enough.”

Senator Sullivan said, “Thank you also to all of the Alaskans who have come together and remained resilient and tough throughout this disaster. Help is on the way. Now is the time to start applying for aid that can assist with everything from emergency shelter to food and other needs. The delegation will continue to stay focused on the important rebuilding process.”

Representative Peltola thanked President Biden for listening to the Alaska delegations concerns. She went on to say, “This additional federal funding will lift a huge burden off Alaskans who are working so hard to rebuild after the devastation brought by Typhoon Merbok. These next few weeks are critical for making necessary repairs before the winter months and I’m grateful that President Biden has answered our call for help.”

If you have questions or need to apply for aid you can send an email to storm@ready.alaska.gov.