Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) was recently issued a check from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) totaling nearly $2.24 million. This was reimbursement for expenses incurred from the November 2013 storm.
The November 2013 storm brought with it hurricane-force winds that caused significant damage to GVEA’s equipment. As a result, power outages throughout GVEA’s service area were extensive. At the storm’s peak, as many as 13,000 residences and businesses were without power – some for as many as eight days.
The expense to conduct repairs totaled nearly $3 million and was worked by a team of 70 linemen. This included both local and statewide private contractors and local IBEW apprentices, as well as linemen and equipment “borrowed” from Anchorage-area utilities. Dozens of GVEA employees provided round-the-clock support to the crews in the field, which included a fully staffed call center that provided member assistance.
While many in the community could be spotlighted, it was Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins, in consultation with GVEA’s President & CEO Cory Borgeson, who was instrumental in having the storm declared a disaster on both federal and state levels. GVEA also acknowledges the support of the State of Alaska federal delegation with moving the FEMA application through the federal channels. The FEMA reimbursement also represents the extraordinary effort of GVEA staff to meet the FEMA documentation requirements.
“With the receipt of the FEMA reimbursement check, the expense of the storm will have a minimal impact on our members’ rates” said Cory Borgeson, GVEA’s President & CEO. “The warm support and positive feedback received from the members throughout our service area during and after the storm was very much appreciated. We have dedicated employees that take pride in providing the best service possible to our members, which was evident with the round-the-clock response during the November 2013 storm.”
Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins also commented on the FEMA reimbursement: “The Fairbanks North Star Borough was pleased to assist GVEA by requesting the disaster declaration from the Governor. We’re also pleased that the FEMA reimbursement benefits the residents of the Fairbanks North Star Borough, and even those in outlying areas who are served by GVEA.”