Governor declares disasters in Mat-Su, Fairbanks, Delta, Denali boroughs


Gov. Mike Dunleavy declared a disaster emergency in the following boroughs and areas of the state impacted by severe winter storms, extreme winds, and extreme cold temperatures:

  • Delta/Greely REAA, and Copper River REAA
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough, including Nenana
  • Denali Borough
  • Matanuska-Susitna Borough

“At one point over the weekend, some 20,000 households in the Mat-Su lost power and were in the dark. Severe wind gusts have torn apart buildings, flipped semis on highways, and left thousands of homeowners concerned over freezing pipes,” Dunleavy said in a statement.We declared a disaster emergency in the Boroughs and areas that are impacted by the wind storm. Alaskans, now is the time to check in with your neighbors and try to stay off the roads if possible. We have received reports that there are still layers of ice on the roads in Fairbanks, debris is flying across highways in the Valley, and the wind has blown roofs off. I am always impressed with the ability Alaskans have to step up and help one another. We are devoting State resources to helping our vulnerable communities.”

The declaration activates the State Public Assistance and Individual Assistance program, which provides timely assistance to individuals or families to meet disaster-related necessary expenses and serious needs. More information on how to apply for the disaster assistance will be posted soon.

The Mat-Su Borough and American Red Cross have established shelters at the Menard Sports Center in Wasilla and the Mat-Su Senior Services Center in Palmer. The State Emergency Operations Center is activated and coordinating with affected jurisdictions. At this time, no emergency assistance has been requested in Mat-Su, and in Fairbanks, a contingent of National Guard soldiers and airmen are activated to assist the Borough with any transportation needs.

If individuals or families have an emergency, the governor advised them to call 9-1-1. Visit the Mat-Su Borough website at to view where they are posting information about the storm, shelter locations and other updates.

The Matanuska Electric Association website at has a real-time power outage map and details on reporting an outage.


  1. With these spectacular wind events happening in clusters annually, has MEA and the Governor’s office given any thought to spending emergency funds allocations on burying electric lines below frost heave depth? Obviously the aesthetics are improved in Alaska communities with underground utilities. Why not progressively introduce this everywhere?

    • It has been brought up in the past by MEA but the city of Wasilla did not like the option of burring lines on the Parks Hwy if I recall correctly. That would have forced some much pricier options for the Co-Op to route around Wasilla. There is a meeting on 1-19-21 for Final Public information & Comment Hearing for transmission :Line Routing & Substation study (you can find the info on MEA’s Facebook page), I’d imagine that buried lines will come up in the conversation & hopefully spark a renewed interest in underground utilities.

    • The problem with burying electrical lines in Alaska, Glenn, is that should any of them break or need to be repaired during the half of the year that is winter (for example, due to a strong earthquake), they are exceedingly difficult to access due to the ground being frozen and about as hard as concrete.

    • If I recall correctly when it was proposed to bury all the lines it would have more than doubled everyone’s electric bill. The lines in my area are all below ground and we don’t have anywhere near the number of outages as surrounding areas with above ground lines, but the cost was paid upfront and is still reflected in property value. Long term maintenance on underground is markedly less but upfront cost is markedly. As a people we’ve decided that if we can spend less now but more over longer that is preferable to paying more now but less over time, see credit card bills, household debt, and as a nation our national debt. Why pay today for something you can spend a lifetime paying for?

      • I am reminded of a story that my father told me when I was quite young along these same lines. He knew a civil engineer to whom he had complained about the short lifespan of contemporary road surfaces, in Michigan often not even ten years. He asked the engineer, “Why could the Romans build roads that have lasted 2000 years and you guys today cannot build one that lasts even 10 years?” And the engineer told him that of course we could make roads that last much longer — 100 years, at least, would be no problem! But it would require an initial outlay of several times what a standard (short-term) road would cost, and no city or state government was willing to budget for or authorize such an expenditure, even though in the long run it would greatly save on road spending overall.

        • The amount of debt we’ve set upon future generations is staggering. To think we could have done it right by doing with just a little less, instead we are borrowing against our future.

        • Jeff,
          You’re a pleasant person when you aren’t talking covid, far be it from me but if you were to maybe do more of this and less of the fanatical covid guy while discussing covid stuff, maybe, just maybe there could be a rational discussion about covid related stuff. We might disagree with certain things, but there’s no reason to be disagreeable.

    • This is literally what global warming was predicted to bring about. For the feeble minds who can’t get over the cold weather in winter aspect, we saw record warm temperatures in Alaska this winter…. you know, when it’s supposed to be cold?

      • Yeah, ok Einstein. The Global Warming narrative only works when NOAA, NASA & the National Weather Service manipulates data. They almost always leave out weather data from the 1930’s when constructing their “global warming ” models because it was hot as Hell back then!

        • The predicted cooling in the 70s and 80s, and were wrong. They went with warming in the 90s and 2000s and for the last 10-12 years it’s not been fashionable to say cooking or warming but rather “climate change” because that gives them the most latitude. It’s about money and power, and that’s it. The left wants it, as do the Wall Street crowd that own them, so this is just one more way to get it. “Carbon offsets” and the like, are just a Pay to Play Ponzi scheme on a global scale. These people are either deluded or corrupt and they’ll take your watch and wallet soon as look at you, and try to make you feel guilty if you protest. They are, what is worst in man.

          • Pay to play… sort of like the access Trump gave to those who paid to stay at his resorts when he was President? Or is that too blatant, we have to pretend every scientist on Earth is in on a giant conspiracy, while also some how making the Earth’s temperatures rise?

  2. The gold rush miners and sourdoughers lived through bitter cold and where water was dripped and hauled days. But also they expected the extreme challenges. I think our 1950-1980 elders used to drop their heads at us you want life too easy that we could not chop firewood to warm us. That is what i read and watched through their pioneer stories. UA
    would probably increase their enrollment if they humbly became a community college agian offering low affordable tuition to real life skill and trade professions to a self sufficient life. Relying on others for heat, water i think is the harder life than getting it for ourselves.the dependancy makes us wait on others.

    • Imagine what the sourdoughers would have thought of the January 6th rioters and any Republican that supported it? It doesn’t get much more entitled than a bunch of losers demanding they won, despite all vote counts showing they lost.

  3. Johnny boy, where was it warmer? Maybe Bethel in December? Look, every region of Alaska this winter has experienced far below normal Temps. It happens. It’s called Alaskan weather. Quit getting your already tight panties in a bunch over your religious beliefs. Geez…

    • Kodiak saw the highest temperature in Alaska in December on record. 67 degrees

      Unalaska recorded 56 degrees on Christmas, which is also the highest recorded temp in Alaska for that day in history.

      What are you working with there, old? Do you not have much internet where you are? Time to upgrade…

      • You might want to check and see when the so-called record keeping began, Seymour. In Anchorage, the National Weather Service uses data from Ted Stevens Intl. Airport from the 1950’s , even though there is lots of credible weather data from Merrill Field in the 1930’s and even before! Problem with using that data, however, is that it would skew their “Global Warming” narrative.

      • Young people need to experience more of life before trying to change the world to fit immature ideologies.

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