The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Rocking the Boat


The following is from the editorial page of the Oct. 16, 1986 Seward Phoenix LOG.

THE FLOOD... The residents of this community should be proud of the cooperation that existed between many people who assisted our neighbors and friends during the worst flood in Seward’s history. We should be especially proud of the city workers and the volunteers from the fire departments and emergency medical services who worked around the clock, eager to respond to the numerous critical situations that developed.

How a community reacts under pressure brings out its true nature and during the past weekend, we certainly saw what is part of Seward’s uniqueness – determination and cooperation under adverse conditions.

There were also many private citizens who went beyond the call of duty. Among them, Frank Dieckgraeff, whose efforts were noted and appreciated by many of his disaster coworkers. He certainly stood out. There are many, many others but their noble deeds will probably go unnoticed because they became commonplace. Surely after taking the time to reflect, recognition will come.

During the height of the crisis, Mayor Gieseler and Deputy City Manager Schaefermeyer reacted coolly and professionally as they coordinated the efforts, responding to one critical situation after another. Roads were being washed out, homes threatened and creeks on the verge of running amok.

Fire chief John Gage worked closely with Galen Albertson, Paul Diener and Lt. Don Earl as they carried our the directives of the Emergency Operations Center.

In our outlying subdivisions, Len Weimar and Richard Schmidt supervised a crew of volunteers from the Bear Creek Fire Department as they assisted residents from Resurrection, Old Mill, Questa Woods and Nash Road, where some portions were completely inundated by water.

While many names will go unmentioned because they are so numerous, their heroics will remain fresh in the memories of our fellow residents.

While we worked to help save ourselves, offers of assistance came from around the borough and the state. Offers of food, housing and clothing were numerous. The Salvation Army and Red Cross rushed to the aid of the unfortunate. We’re grateful.

With the crisis over, we must now look to the task of rebuilding millions of dollars worth of damage to roads, homes, the diversion tunnel, the dikes, and who subdivisions. Though it is an enormous task, we know that it is half done because we all know half the battle is attitude. It’s the kind of positive attitude that has given the community a well deserved “can do” reputation.


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