City Says Seward is Drowning

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by Whitney LB Miller

SEWARD, Alaska - Wednesday the town of Seward endured widespread flooding that caused the city to declare a state of emergency.
Your Alaska Link visited the residents there and found out how they are coping with the damage.

"This is the worst I've seen it, every area is affected....there are a lot of people that can't get in or out of their homes," said Becky Dunn owner of Knots So Fast Feed Store
The rising flood water washed out her stores foundation.

Property owners along the Seward Hwy were also hit hard when heavy rains and harsh winds caused creeks to over flow and homes and shops to flood.

"They've got to learn how to do it better...its displacing my families and these families has been her over twenty years," said Rose Szymanski a property owner in the area. Many of her tenants are currently in jeopardy of losing their homes to flood water.

Symanski tried using home-made flood baskets to hold the water back herself but the big rain and tide were too strong.

Another property owner in that area John "mac" Eads, of Eadsville says the solution is one that may take years if anything is done at all. Eads proposed setting up a dredge near the airport where the river runs out.

" it would eventually cure the problem, it would never be a flood because the water would be contained in one channel instead of all over the place," said Eads.

Eads, Symanski, and others have been trying to get the city to remove 22 million yards of gravel which city manager Jim Hunt says at $3.50 a yard the state of Alaska is asking for too much.

Rolf Bardarson, a local business owner says at the very least the city needs to stabilize the area until a long term solution is found.

"If there is periodic maintenance or the exact opposite {we need} yearly maintenance on some of these streams because were way behind."

A weather advisory from the National Weather Service has extended the flood warning for Seward until 10am Friday.

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