Houston Middle School sustained serious damage from the November 30th earthquake. (Photo courtesy of Tim Leach)
The state has a preliminary price-tag for last month’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Southcentral Alaska. So far, the state knows of about $76 million worth of damage from the quake and the weeks of sizable aftershocks that are still rattling buildings.
But the figure represents just a partial accounting, with more information still being collected ahead of a formal request by the state for federal relief money.
The cost estimate for repairing public facilities currently stands at $48 million.
That includes “roads, bridges, schools,” explained Logan Stolpe, a public information officer with the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. $28 million is from damage reported by residents to essential personal property like homes and vehicles.
The estimate is a composite of information from public employees conducting superficial damage assessments and residents self-reporting what they have lost. But according to Stolpe this is still a first draft in a longer process.
“Essentially what the preliminary damage assessment does is it gathers enough information to get an early estimate on the damages, and that way the governor can make an informed decision about requesting (a) federal major disaster declaration,” Stolpe said.
While President Trump did declare a federal emergency related to the quake, that is a separate process from Gov. Mike Dunleavy submitting a formal request for a disaster declaration, which would unlock federal funds for repayment to Alaskans and local entities.
The state will continue tallying damage via online and phone reporting through January 29th.