Jul 31, 2009
Good news from Eagle! Residents. working side-by-side with volunteers from around the country, are well on their way toward meeting the goal of building thirteen log homes in Eagle by September 12 to replace homes that were washed away in the ice flood last spring.
As we pause to provide an update we bid farewell to eleven Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) volunteer builders and welcome 14 fresh recruits. Lessons learned by the first crew will be passed on by three MDS volunteers that will be staying on, and by residents of Eagle who have been working side-by-side with the MDS volunteers.
In two weeks time the exterior walls are nearing completion on three homes, and roof trusses are beginning to take shape on one. The start of a fourth home and delivery of the logs for two additional homes coincided with the arrival of the new crew. We are well on our way towards meeting the goal of building thirteen log homes in Eagle by September 12.
Other groups pitching in have been Samaritan’s Purse, LightShine Ministies and the Boy Scouts.
The Bureau of Land Management waived fees at beautiful Ft. Egbert campground and individuals are helping out while camping out.
Christina Young, a pilot spending her fourth summer flying throughout Alaska, dropped in to help and a canoeist, paddling the Yukon River, stopped and volunteered for couple of days – just a couple of the many individuals donating their time and energy to the rebuilding frenzy.
It seems like the gravel and log home kits are making it to Eagle in time – an amazing example of bureaucracy and community working together.
But these are not Lincoln log homes that fit together perfectly. Those assembling the kits still need hardware and tools.
Eagle’s website has a list of needed items so I asked Eagle’s Volunteer Coordinator, Rob Paire, what the best address to send flat rate boxes of smaller items would be.
We are really working on two fronts, the first front is demolition of the old houses, the second is construction of new houses. Both fronts are going well at the moment.
Also I have not had time to update the needs list for quite some time, and I have received many donations so sorry. The most helpful thing for us to deal with is cash donations.
Look at the list. It seems like someone at the state or federal level should have realized you can’t rebuild a town without nails, ladders, saw horses and levels and had all these items in place when the kit homes arrived.
While the former governor was conducting a farewell tour and picnic series, private citizens were sending battery operated drills and nails to Eagle.
We can only hope that the next administration is better equipped to address the challenges that face rural Alaskans.
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The Warm Hearts Fund, set up by Big Ray’s in Fairbanks, is collecting monetary donations to help Eagle residents replace winter survival gear that was lost in the flood. This is a convenient way to make sure our neighbors are snug both inside and outside their new homes next winter.