ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Mat-Su Valley ham radio club is trying to raise funds to replace a communications trailer that was destroyed in a Wednesday wind storm.
According to the Matanuska Amateur Radio Association’s emergency coordinator, Don Bush, the 24-foot trailer filled with radio gear was parked at a group member’s home near Mile 12 on Knik Goose Bay Road when it was hit by a falling tree.
“The tree just came down into it and structurally destroyed it,” Bush said.
While members were able to salvage the communications gear and most of the trailer’s radio antennae, Bush says the trailer itself is a total loss. MARA hopes to raise about $10,000 to replace the trailer, as well as another $5,000 to rewire and insulate it.
The group says the trailer is a critical communications link for the Valley during a disaster. Members have an agreement to provide emergency communications for the Matanuska Electric Association, and routinely conduct emergency exercises with the Mat-Su Borough.
“We’re on a 24-hour-call type of thing, as needed by the borough,” Bush said.
MARA can be contacted at its website, via e-mail at email@example.com or at Bush’s phone number, 868-6115, regarding donations toward the trailer’s replacement.
“It just kind of caught us flat-footed,” Bush said.