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WHAT AN ARTICLE! If you missed the human interest story about the flood recovery in Galena as posted in the Anchorage Daily News Saturday, you should read it: http://www.adn.com/2013/06/15/2941511/galena-counts-its-losses-from.html
It was quite a sight as our University related team assessing Galena was driven through the village late last week to assess the housing situation (and deliver workshops on how to safely re-enter homes). We were picked up at the old Air Force base (Nation’s lead in Soviet intercepts during the Cold War I’m told) which sits in a bowl with dirt roads on top of a dike as the rim. During the flooding, water started to come into the bowl yet our driver said the guys who stayed behind located and commandeered  some heavy equipment and ‘got ‘er done’ – which basically saved the base and thus the future incident command center where relief efforts are now coordinated out of, the airstrip, electrical plant, mess hall for workers and on-base housing . No one perished (with very few dog casualties), yet 90% homes got hit. One thing that impressed me while walking in and out of a house carrying wet insulation was the very fine, dry dust covering everything-almost like the aftermath coating of a light volcano had let off; it even made a high water mark on the small spruce trees with needles so high looking gray/brown, and those above that mark looking freshly green.  Days start to get shorter in less than a week, and school starts in about 2 months- and there will still visible gray and light brown ice chunks along different parts of the road. From what I saw on the ground and have been keeping up on with Facebook related sites, everyone’s mind is on getting cleaned up, getting fresh materials in and home up by freeze up.