Alaska Putting Pieces Back Together Following Massive Quake

By | December 4, 2018

The supply chain of food and other goods delivered to the Port of Anchorage from the Lower 48 has not been disrupted by the powerful earthquake that caused widespread damage to roads in the Anchorage area.

“The ships are coming in on schedule, the supply lines are at this point uninterrupted,” Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said at a news conference.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake rattled the state’s largest city early Friday morning swaying buildings and fraying nerves. There were no reports of deaths, serious injuries or structural damage to buildings.

Roads, however, took the brunt of the damage, especially the scenic Glenn Highway, the closest thing Alaska has to an interstate and links the state’s largest city to suburban communities to the north.

Traffic has been snarled since the quake. Delays came as drivers were diverted around road damage on temporary detours or the highway was reduced to one lane while crews try to reconstruct the roadway after the temblor caused sinkholes and buckled pavement.

Employees who live north of Anchorage were being encouraged to take Monday off or work from home if possible to reduce traffic. Gov. Bill Walker gave state workers in the Anchorage area the day off to help reduce the number of cars on the highway. Schools have been closed until Dec. 10, which should also reduce traffic.

Roads aren’t the only transportation worry in Alaska.

About 90 percent of all the goods sold in Alaska are delivered to the Port of Anchorage, where officials have completed a preliminary damage assessment.

“Everything looked good,” Municipal Manager Bill Falsey said. “There was some structural concerns with some of the trestles. We have got some things on a watch list but nothing that should impede operations.”

Schools will be closed for the week so damage assessments can be conducted on about 4,000 classrooms in 86 schools and four other facilities, comprising 8 million square feet, to make sure they are safe for staff and students, Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop said Sunday.

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