Originally published in the Peninsula Clarion
Further assessments have found little damage to Kenai Peninsula infrastructure after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake rumbled Southcentral Alaska on Nov. 30 last year.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Emergency Manager Dan Nelson said all borough buildings have been deemed safe to occupy. Initially, building managers and supervisors assessed immediate damage following the earthquake. Next, Nelson said seismic specialists conducted detailed screenings of borough buildings and their final report was issued to the borough last week.
“We didn’t have damage compared to Anchorage or the Mat-Su, and the Kenai Peninsula was lucky,” Nelson said.
In their report, three buildings were flagged for further assessment by an engineer, which the borough will contract out.
Skyview Middle School, Kenai Middle School and Nikiski Community Center will all be receiving a further assessment by an engineer in the following months.
Nelson said after the earthquake there were a lot of little things that were fixed right away, such as cracks in borough-maintained roads.
In the city of Kenai, City Manager Paul Ostrander said there was little to report after damage assessments.
The Kenai dock was slightly damaged along with an inactive well house, and the building surrounding the well house, which has now partially subsided, Ostrander said.
The city also experienced a water main break in one of the city’s neighborhoods, which occurred a week or so after the earthquake and was fixed shortly after the problem was identified, Ostrander said. The break created a small disruption to the neighborhood’s water supply.
Ostrander said the dock and the well house were both insured.
Residents who experienced damage to their home have until Jan. 29 to file for federal assistance. Nelson said there were a lot of scattered incidents to homes in the borough, but that the state will handle the federal assistance process for residents.
“If you think you have damage you can report it,” Nelson said. “It’s a fairly simple to process to get started on.”
Nelson said now is a good time for residents to evaluate their own home emergency plans.
“It’s a really good time to look at any plans you have for an emergency,” Nelson said. “Just in case the next big earthquake is a little further south.”