Governor Dunleavy amends Disaster Declaration to include Prince of Wales Island

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska (KINY) – Governor Dunleavy has amended his state declaration of disaster from November 21, 2023, to add the entire Southeast Island School District Regional Education Attendance Area, including the City of Craig and Hydaburg for both Public and Individual Assistance.

The state and FEMA will conduct a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (JPDA) beginning the week of Dec 11. The JPDA team will visit Wrangell and Prince of Wales Island to document damage and gather information associated with the Nov. 20 rain and wind event. Should the Governor request federal assistance, the JPDA data will be required.

For 15 days, Wrangell Search and Rescue volunteers, Wrangell Police Department, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, scent-detecting K-9s, and others have continuously searched for missing persons. The team has shown tremendous dedication as they methodically search the landslide debris field.

Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and the Wrangel Police Department have partially reopened the Zimovia Hwy for residents who live on the south side of the slide. The Wrangell Police Department is issuing permits to residents who are authorized to pass through the slide area. Openings are scheduled for 8:00 to 8:30 AM, 12:00 to 12:30 PM, and 3:30 to 4:00 PM.

DNR’s Division of Geological and Geophysical Survey estimates there have been 30-40 scientists (geologists, engineers, natural scientists, computer scientists, climatologists), meteorologists, GIS and imagery processing analysts, and data managers working on landslides across Alaska in recent years. Multiple agencies, disciplines, and entities are dedicated to landslide research and science in Alaska. Collaborative working groups are assessing and understanding landslide activity across Alaska, with participants from the State of Alaska, federal agencies, universities, local governments, and the private sector.