The temporary emergency shelter set up at the Nome Recreational Center has been closed. City Manager Glenn Steckman confirmed that shelter transitioned back to being the public gymnasium last night.
Following the historic September storm that hit Western Alaska over the weekend, six or seven Nome residents on average have been sleeping in the gym of the local recreational center.
“We moved them to a smaller area so we could get the gym reopened. But we are still looking for longer term housing to relocate those folks until they can get back into their more permanent housing,” Steckman explained.
Given the housing shortage in Nome, finding long term housing will be challenging. But in the meantime, Norton Sound Health Corporation is assisting in temporarily housing the half dozen folks still in need of a place to stay, Steckman said. The majority of the displaced residents were previously living in Pat Krier’s apartment building.
“We did relocate a lady who was impacted and we got her into an NJUS apartment, for the time being. And another person is one of our team employee members; we were working with him to make sure he is adequately housed,” Steckman said.
Although the damage is not visible from the outside, there were some apartments near the AT&T building on Front St. that had their back wall pushed inwards more than a foot during the storm, Steckman said.
The City of Nome, and the rest of Western Alaska, is awaiting a federal disaster declaration from President Joe Biden to help rebuild the necessary infrastructure and homes that were impacted by this devastating storm.
Image at top: Inside of Nome Rec Center gymnasium during COVID social distancing operations. Photo from KNOM file, 2020.