Storms Appear To Subside In Western Alaska

The worst appears to be over for coastal villages in Western Alaska.

State Emergency incident Commander Mark Roberts says a return to a more normal weather pattern with clear, cold conditions is forecast.

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“The rough weather that started November 5th with the first storm in a series of five storms that came through even yesterday which was in fact part of that storm, that last storm resulted in the power outages there from ice in Fairbanks area, that series of storms has completed and at least for the next five to seven days, it’s looking like clear sailing,” Roberts said.

Roberts says Kotlik, Stebbins, Scammon Bay, Tununak and Shishmaref have all declared local disasters. He says 18 communities have reported impacts. Roberts says there have been no reports of injuries or anyone missing. He attributes that to good planning by communities before the storms started.

Kotlik and Unalakleet are still working to get their water systems restored. Roberts says Kotlik has a week’s worth of drinking water in their storage tank. And Unalakleet has a temporary water collection system above ground.



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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 24 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori