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TR on KTVA Alaska: Military Veterans Lend a Hand Cleaning Up After Talkeetna Floods

Mike Lee

Mike Lee, a native of Chicago, graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Creative Writing. At LMU, Mike developed international and domestic volunteer trips and served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Student Veterans Organization. Mike’s professional background is in advertising and marketing, and has experience in executing large print and digital campaigns for non-profit and tourism clients. He lives in Los Angeles where he thinks a lot about dogs, bourbon, and the Chicago Bears.

“Team Rubicon” has volunteers from multiple states


TALKEETNA – It’s been a tough couple of weeks for some residents in Talkeetna who are only now getting a handle on damage done by flooding. But now, some of them are getting help from a group of military veterans whose mission is to lend a helping hand.

Rotting wood and soggy soil are what’s left behind on the ground level of the Tollefsen home, where two weeks ago the basement was filled with four feet of murky water. The family has lived there for 30 years and says they’ve never seen flooding like they experienced in September.

Some of their belongings could be saved but many could not. Removing some of the bigger items like damaged appliances was proving to be an especially tough challenge until Team Rubicon came on the scene.

Team Rubicon is a non-profit organization made up of veterans from different states who respond to disasters around the world. The team in Talkeetna includes volunteers from Washington, Oregon and Alaska. For the last two days they’ve been helping out the Tollefsens with heavy lifting, hauling out damaged items and making frequent trips to the dump.

Team Rubicon plans to stay in the valley for a week helping those who need it. Team leader Jeff Alberts said they could also use volunteers.