Aleknagik still without electricity and phone service, as crews rush to restore power
Crews today are hurrying to clean up after the storm that hit the region Sunday, clearing debris and working to restore power and phone service.
The skies have cleared over Dillingham — at least for now — following days of heavy snow and high winds that knocked out power, toppled trees and cut off phone service.
Crews today are hurrying to clean up after the storm that hit the region Sunday, clearing debris and working to restore power.
By Tuesday night, power was back on up to mile marker 3 on Aleknagik Lake Road, according to an update from Nushagak Cooperative.
CEO Bob Himschoot said the utility is hoping to restore power in all of Aleknagik by the end of the day today — or at the very least by Friday.
“They’re doing everything they possibly, safely can, but there are a lot of trees on a lot of lines right now, and access to them is tough,” he said.
The Bristol Bay Native Association Forestry Crew is still working to cut trees along the road to Aleknagik before the co-op’s crew restores power there.
Himschoot said they still had a few miles to go by this evening.
“The reports I’m getting is that a lot of the lines are fairly clear but there are sections with a lot of tree contact," he said. "As soon as we can get those sections up and cleared we’ll be attempting to energize that line.”
The first power outage was reported early Monday morning, and some people haven’t had power for days.
The landlines and cell service have also been out in Aleknagik. Telecom Operations Manager Trung Vo said they will get generators to several sites on the way to Aleknagik — but only once they can get power to the site at Waskey Road.
“The telecom’s gonna break free from assisting cutting trees and we’re going to deploy generators to get coms back up for people,” he said.
That would bring cell and landline service back in Aleknagik.
Himschoot said the crews have been working around the clock since then to bring back power.
“The team worked about a 20-hour day on Monday and they worked 16 or 18 hours yesterday, and I’m sure the same thing today, and continuing until we get this fully restored,” he said.
The storm that started Sunday dumped at least 15 inches of snow in the area, with winds blowing up to 50 miles per hour.
Himschoots said crews worked to restore power during the storm, but the trees kept falling.
“You had trees that were falling across and slowly bending across and contacting lines. And the crews would go out and clear a section, re-energize it, and shortly after that there would be more trees fall behind where they cleared,” he said.
Himschoot hopes that the next bout of winter weather forecast to begin tonight and continue through tomorrow won’t be as damaging. The region is bracing for up to 10 inches of snow and winds gusting up to 60 miles per hour.
The co-op’s line crew is working to fix isolated outages up to mile marker 3 on Lake Road. If you’re experiencing an outage in that area, contact Nushagak’s customer service office at 907-842-5251.
If you see trees on power lines, report it to Nushagak at 907-842-5251 or after hours at 907-842-5555.
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