Berkowitz declares emergency, public health and safety risks 'imminent'

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Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz says state budget cuts have made the city vulnerable to dire and imminent public health and safety risks and declared a state of civil emergency. He made the official declaration at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

“This is an unprecedented decision for an unprecedented situation,” Berkowitz said. “Existing shelters have lost funding at a time when demand for their services is projected to skyrocket. First responders and health care professionals are anticipating a massive surge in 911 and emergency room calls, and it is imperative that we meet this impending humanitarian crisis with the resources that we deploy when responding to all emergencies.”

In a news release sent Wednesday, the mayor’s office lists the budget cuts most affecting the city and what the results could be:

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