Duly Noted


December 10, 2020

It has been an overwhelming, exhausting and tragic week in Haines. As I am writing this column I pray that by the time we print we do not receive more bad news. We are all glued to our devices for updates. Each time I receive a Nixle alert I hold my breath before opening it, worried it’s more horrible news. The environmental and physical destruction, compounded with the loss of ones we love, is unbearable. 

I am reminded of the Mr. Rogers quote, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping’.’” Heather Lende is the Volunteer Coordinator. The Haines Borough is coordinating volunteers for various tasks including social services, physical outdoor work, organizing/managing things, field data collection, and telephone/office data collection. 

Mayor Douglas Olerud said, “While we deal with the aftermath of this immense tragedy, we would like to thank all the resources which immediately came to the aid of the Haines Borough… So many heeded the call when we asked for help. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all.”

Everyone wants to help. Everyone is helping. If you can volunteer, please complete the volunteer registration form: https://www.hainesalaska.gov/volunteer-registration-form.

If you can and are volunteering on the ground please take note of these important details and resources: 

Help the community by monitoring your surroundings and report findings at Mountain Hub visit http://mountainhub.com to download the app and learn what signs to look for. 

If you are picking up debris, please photograph the area you are cleaning before cleaning it. If you find high value debris on the shoreline (away from the restricted search area), these items can be photographed and brought to the Haines Police Department. Yellow bags are available at the Borough office for pick up of items.

Haines Borough Public Facilities workers and James Sage, lifelong resident who has stepped up to support the efforts, says it is vital that the community keep ditches and culverts clear. If there is a culvert or a ditch in your neighborhood that is clogged with sticks, rocks, mud or sand please remove the debris to allow water to flow freely. Once you have removed the debris, report it to James at 796-9508. If the job requires more than a shovel, James will arrange for equipment.

Meredith Pochardt encouraged residents via Facebook to assist fire/EMS crews by adopting a hydrant (or a couple). “Take a look around and find one near your house, clear out a path to it and around it, and adopt it as your own special hydrant. If you live next to someone who might not be able to adopt their own, consider taking on a couple extra.” You can text Meredith at 907-314-3280 the location of your hydrant(s) and they’ll be marked as taken care of. 

If you can give, go to linktr.ee/HainesDisasterRelief.

Sheri Loomis reports the meal trains for Kim Larson Family, Walker & Parker Blair and the Jacobsons are currently full, thanks to the overwhelming support from the community. However links will be posted again if more meals are necessary. She invites readers to join Haines Chatters on Facebook for ongoing announcements and updates. 

Kelly Williamson, the executive director of Lynn Canal Counseling, reminds the community of Haines: “The most important thing to remember at this time is that it’s okay to not be okay. Big feelings are normal during a time of crisis. Honor the feelings, express them openly, and move forward one step at a time. Other things that are normal: Nightmares, Flashbacks, Intrusive thoughts, and Regressive behaviors. It’s also normal to not have any of these reactions and that’s okay, too.” 

Nixle: If you do not have text and email updates via Nixle. Go to http://www.nixle.com and sign up using our zip code 99827. Updates are constantly being delivered regarding news and road updates. 


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