Parnell declares disaster for town hit by storm

Posted: Sunday, January 16, 2011

ANCHORAGE — Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has issued a state disaster declaration to help the tiny town of Savoonga after a storm caused prolonged power outages for most residents. Friday’s declaration authorizes the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to activate the state’s public and individual disaster assistance grant programs.

Beginning on Dec. 26 and continuing through Jan. 6, a severe winter storm brought high winds and cold temperatures to the St. Lawrence Island community. It also sprayed the village with salt water that froze on electrical transmission lines, causing power outages that lasted for days.

The loss of power also led to frozen and broken water pipes.

About 700 people live in the community on the island in the Bering Sea.

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