Murkowski Meets With FEMA About Galena Flooding Response

National Weather Service photo.
National Weather Service photo.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski met this week with federal officials investigating FEMA’s response to this year’s flooding in Galena.

The flood left more than half of Galena’s homes uninhabitable.

Murkowski says the agency seemed unprepared for a community off the road system and failed to recognize the shortness of the Alaska building season.

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One problem, she says, is that FEMA told people not to begin repairs until the extent of their loss is determined.

“Well, then you’re waiting; you’re waiting, and in the meantime you’ve got a house that may have been underwater; you now have mold going up and so you might be losing more of your house on a daily basis after the time within which the inspectors have come in and said ‘well, it’s 50 percent gone,’” Murkowski said. “There were things that were just part of a bureaucracy that just didn’t make sense.”

Murkowski says the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security plans to release a report on FEMA’s response to the Galena disaster by the end of the year.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at Read more about Liz here.

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