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Kotlik Flood Victims Return Home

Published On: Nov 19 2013 09:12:19 PM AKST

The small community of Kotlik weathered a brutal storm earlier in November.

Homeowners that left during the storm are heading back and say the recovery process will not be easy. About a quarter of the village headed to the school during evacuations.

In a phone conversation, 66-year-old Esther Andrews said when she returned home, it smelled like sewage. Her granddaughter cleaned the home to make the smell go away.

“My biggest concern is getting water and sewer back up so everybody will have a healthy life, healthy water to drink," said Joe Uisok.

Some of the plumbing was damaged in the storm. According to Uisok, people were using honey buckets and hauling their water.

School also remains a concern with students missing classes, however since the storm, it has been put on hold.

Over the weekend, Governor Parnell made a disaster declaration for communities in Western Alaska, including Kotlik. Parnell also made disaster declarations for communities in the Kenai and Fairbanks area after separate weather-related disasters.