Alaska Delegation Applauds Approval of Major Disaster Declaration for Western Alaska

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-Alaska), and Representative Mary Sattler Peltola (D-Alaska) today welcomed an announcement that President Joe Biden approved Alaska Governor Michael Dunleavy’s (R-Alaska) request for a major disaster declaration to support Western Alaska’s recovery from the impact of Typhoon Merbok on Alaskan families, homes, businesses, schools, and infrastructure. This announcement comes just two days after the delegation sent a letter urging the President for his approval.   

“Typhoon Merbok was the strongest storm Alaska has experienced in seventy years, leaving a wake of destruction covering over 1,000 miles of coastline. I am grateful that no casualties and no serious injuries have been reported, but the impact on homes and infrastructure are extensive. So many communities throughout Western Alaska have been devastated and are in dire need of federal support. I appreciate the President for listening to us and recognizing the urgency of this situation. With winter weather looming, this federal assistance can’t come soon enough,” said Senator Murkowski. “I am on the ground in the region today and throughout the weekend traveling to the impacted communities. It is so important to see the needs firsthand and hear directly from residents as this helps guide how I can best assist them. I will be there for Alaskans through the recovery and rebuilding process by doing all I can in my role to help ensure that they have the support necessary to do so.”

“I appreciate the quick response from the Biden Administration approving Governor Dunleavy’s request for a Major Disaster declaration to support Alaska’s recovery from the impacts of Typhoon Merbok on Alaska families, homes, businesses, schools, and infrastructure,” said Senator Sullivan. “My team and I continue to work closely with our partners in the federal, state, and local governments to ensure communities in Western Alaska are fully restored following this fierce storm. And I reiterate the arguments I recently made to the Secretary of Homeland Security and FEMA Administrator—that if other communities that have been impacted by natural disasters, like Puerto Rico, get 100 percent federal reimbursement, then so should Alaska.”

“I am grateful that President Biden understood how urgent the need for federal assistance was to the people of Western Alaska and thank him for swiftly approving the governor’s request for a disaster declaration,” said Representative Peltola. “Over the next couple of days, I will be visiting areas impacted by this storm to see the destruction first-hand. My office and I will continue to work with state and local officials to provide any assistance that we can.” 

To read the delegation’s full letter, click here.

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