Coastal storm pounds western Alaska

by Greg Lincoln

The worst storm in recent times hit our homeland this past weekend – the coastal regions bore the brunt. Reports and photos of homes collapsing off their posts, extensive coastline erosion, extreme flooding into village townsites, hurricane force winds, roof damage, and bulk fuel tanks and other infrastructure being moved from their foundations were all over social media.

Organizations and state leadership are working on helping. Thank you to the schools who opened their doors to provide emergency shelter for those needing a safe place to stay.

On Saturday, September 17th, 2022 Governor Dunleavy issued a Disaster Declaration for western Alaska. This activates the state emergency operations plan that brings together a coordinated response to the communities impacted by the storm.

Hooper Bay, Kipnuk, Toksook Bay, Newtok, Tununak, Golovin, Nome, Chevak, and many others were on our hearts and minds. Thank you to the searchers and volunteers who found the missing boy in Hooper Bay – we are relieved to hear that he was found okay.

The storm also unearthed buried treasures such as the woolly mammoth tusk that you can see on the cover. The blue substance on the fossilized tusk is vivianite that formed when the tusk reacted with the minerals in the silty soil while buried. In Yup’ik woolly mammoths are called quugaarpiit

When there is a storm coming, please also make sure that your pets are safely indoors. They are warm living creatures that need food and shelter and they depend on us for all their needs. More storms will come and we need to be ready. Quyana.

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