January 15th, 2012
02:49 AM ET

Russian fuel tanker reaches Alaskan town bound by ice

A Russian tanker carrying fuel arrived in the Alaskan town of Nome on Saturday night, the Coast Guard said, as officials started preparations on delivering the much-needed supplies.

U.S Coast Guard ice breaker Cutter Healy accompanied the fuel tanker Renda as it made its way through the frozen waters carrying 1.3 million gallons of petroleum products.

"The first step is to ensure the ice is safe for the personnel to walk on," said Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow. "Then they will work to connect the piping and check for leaks. Safety is our primary concern."

The cutter has broken through almost 300 miles of ice for the tanker on a journey that took them through southern Alaska's Aleutian Islands. The voyage is the first-ever attempt to supply fuel to an Arctic Alaska settlement through sea ice.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Russia • U.S. • World
Alaska fuel convoy prepares for final push to Nome
The Coast Guard Cutter Healy, right, breaks ice around the Russian tanker Renda last week about 250 miles south of Nome.
January 13th, 2012
12:17 PM ET

Alaska fuel convoy prepares for final push to Nome

Two ships trying to break through ice to resupply ice-bound Nome, Alaska, are nearly there after a 10-day journey but have paused to identify the safest path into harbor, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard's only operating Arctic icebreaker, the Cutter Healy, and the Russian fuel tanker Renda were in the Bering Sea about eight nautical miles from Nome on Friday morning, Coast Guard Lt. Veronica Colbath told “CNN Newsroom.”

The Healy will have broken through nearly 300 miles of ice for the Renda, which is transporting 1.3 million gallons of fuel for Nome on a journey that began last week from southern Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The ships’ leaders and an ice expert are discussing “the best way to proceed” to Nome on northwestern Alaska’s coast, Colbath said.

“We have (had) … ice and weather challenges on this 300-mile journey, so we will not be rushing into the harbor of Nome until we have identified the best course of action to navigate in,” Colbath said.

FULL POST

Alaska fuel convoy back on track
The Coast Guard Cutter Healy, right, breaks ice around the Russian tanker Renda about 250 miles south of Nome on January 6.
January 12th, 2012
05:48 PM ET

Alaska fuel convoy back on track

A Coast Guard icebreaker and a Russian tanker trying to resupply icebound Nome, Alaska, are once again advancing on the coastal town after a nearly two-day pause in the Bering Sea.

The U.S. Coast Guard's only operating Arctic icebreaker, the Cutter Healy, and the Russian fuel tanker Renda were about 67 nautical miles from Nome on Thursday morning, Lt. Veronica Colbath, a Coast Guard spokeswoman, said.

The vessels had made virtually no progress for much of Tuesday and Wednesday, when they were about 100 nautical miles out, according to the Coast Guard. The pause was due in part because the Healy had to free the Renda from an ice ridge on Tuesday, the Alaska Dispatch reported.

Officials are tentatively hoping the ships, carrying 1.3 million gallons of fuel, will arrive at Nome this weekend, Colbath said.

FULL POST

Coast Guard breaks ice for tanker
January 11th, 2012
08:52 AM ET

Ice stops progress of Alaska fuel convoy

The Coast Guard icebreaker and Russian fuel tanker trying to resupply icebound Nome, Alaska, made no progress on Tuesday, a Coast Guard spokesperson said early Wednesday.

Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis confirmed an online report from Alaska Dispatch that the Russian-flagged fuel tanker, the Renda, only advanced about 50 feet on Tuesday. That was in stark contrast to what the Renda and the icebreaker, the Coast Guard cutter Healy, did on Monday, when they battled through 50 miles of the ice-covered Bering Sea.

The ships are about 100 miles from Nome, a town of 3,600 on Alaska's western coast.

“Tough sledding. Healy is trying to free Renda right now from an ice ridge,” Carter Whalen, president of Alaska Marine Pilots, told Alaska Dispatch in an email. The pilot aboard the Renda, Pete Garay, confirmed the situation.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • U.S. Coast Guard • Weather • Winter weather
Coast Guard breaks ice for tanker
January 10th, 2012
11:22 AM ET

Icebreaker, fuel tanker close in on icebound Alaskan town

A Coast Guard icebreaker and a tanker carrying 1.3 million gallons of petroleum products could arrive in icebound Nome, Alaska, as early as Thursday, the Coast Guard said Tuesday.

The Sitnasuak Native Corp. of Nome contracted the double-hulled, Russian-flagged tanker Renda to deliver the fuel products to the community of 3,600 on Alaska's west coast after a ferocious November storm prevented the last delivery of the season via barge and ice formed over the Bering Sea.

The U.S. Coast Guard's only operating Arctic icebreaker, the cutter Healy, is escorting the fuel tanker through the ice-covered waters in the first-ever attempt to supply fuel to an Arctic Alaska settlement through sea ice.

The two-ship convoy was 97 miles from Nome early Tuesday, Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis, a Coast Guard spokeswoman, told CNN.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Weather • Winter weather
Alaska town digging its way out after record 18 feet of snow
Several homes in Cordova, Alaska, are buried after weeks of record snowfall.
January 9th, 2012
03:33 PM ET

Alaska town digging its way out after record 18 feet of snow

Snow in Alaska doesn't usually make big headlines, but even The Last Frontier has extremes.

Cordova, an isolated coastal town of about 2,000 people about 150 miles east of Anchorage, appears to be one of the hardest-hit locales, with the state National Guard reporting that it was sending Guardsmen and resources Monday after weeks of record snowfall left the city  buried under 18 feet of the white stuff.

The state activated its State Emergency Operations Center on Friday to help Cordova handle the snow. The town had issued a disaster declaration earlier in the day.

Cordova is "isolated off the state highway system," according to the Guard, and the sea and airport are the only way in and out of the area. The National Guard sent resources to Cordova as conditions worsened and residents scrambled to dig themselves out Monday.

“Cordova is continuing their outstanding job responding to several weeks of intense snowfall,” John Madden, director of the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said in a statement. “Cordova utilized all of their snow management resources to maintain emergency access but now face a new round of storms that will bring heavy snow and perhaps rain.”

The most recent storm alone brought 42 inches of snow to the town, according to a news release from the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • U.S. • Weather
Day of extremes in U.S. weather
Winter wear was beachwear as cold temperatures invaded Miami Beach.
January 4th, 2012
12:23 PM ET

Day of extremes in U.S. weather

Mark down January 4 as one strange day for weather in the United States. The extremes were topsy-turvy.

While Floridians were experiencing record low temperatures, Montanans were seeing record highs that are normal for April or October.

Forecast highs in the upper 50s in Montana were expected to break records in Lewistown, Great Falls, Harve and a handful of other places, according to the National Weather Service.

Similar highs were forecast Wednesday for large portions of Florida.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Florida • Hawaii • Montana • U.S. • Weather • Winter weather
Arctic 'hurricane' slams Alaska
November 9th, 2011
05:35 PM ET

Arctic 'hurricane' slams Alaska

A winter storm of hurricane strength was slamming Alaska early Wednesday with winds of up to 100 mph, high seas and blizzard conditions.

The National Weather Service called the storm moving into the state off the Bering Sea "a powerful and extremely dangerous storm of record or near-record magnitude."

Are you there? Send an iReport.

[Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET] The Facebook page for the National Weather Service in Alaska warns that although skies may be clearing near parts of the back side of the storm, more coastal flooding is expected.

"A major peak in Norton Sound and from Kotzebue Sound up to Point Hope will be coming this evening and tonight. Please don't let the weakening winds trick you into thinking the worst is over in Norton Sound up to Point Hope," the page says.

One to 3 inches of additional snow, near-zero visibility and sustained winds of 30 to 50 mph - with gusts of up to 60 mph - were expected in and around Kotzebue on Wednesday evening, the National Weather Service said.

To the north, along the Chukchi Sea coast, including the village of Kivalina, sea levels may rise 3 to 5 feet above normal Wednesday afternoon, according to the weather service.

"High waves will push water onshore starting Wednesday afternoon, especially at the village of Kivalina," the weather service said on its Alaska Region Headquarters website, warning of severe flooding. "Coastal residents in the warned area should take precautions now to protect life and property and be on the alert for rising water levels. Do not delay in taking needed precautions for this unusually severe and potentially life threatening storm."

[Updated at 5:12 p.m. ET] Water is expected to rise about 2 more feet this evening in Nome, where water already has moved to the base of some buildings, National Weather Service forecasters told the Anchorage Daily News.

"So the threat of flooding is not over yet and it could be a little bit worse, this afternoon and this evening until later tonight," Bob Fischer, lead forecaster for the weather service office in Fairbanks, told the Daily News.

[Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET] Frigid winds like those now ripping across the Bering Sea into Alaska can cause more damage than warm winds, meteorologists tell the Christian Science Monitor.

"Cold air impacts the water more and can push the momentum of the wind into the water more," meteorologist Jim Brader of the National Weather Service's Fairbanks office told the Monitor.

Brader also said the winds moving in the same direction over a distance of about a thousand miles, something that means bigger waves and more water pushed ashore, according to the Monitor report.

That means people on low-lying islands and coastal areas may face big trouble, according to the report.

In fact, the village of Point Hope points out on its website how it had to move parts of the village to a new site during the 1970s because of the effects of storm surge and erosion.

[Updated at 12:36 p.m. ET] The wind chill at Red Dog Dock south of Kivalina, Alaska, was -14.1 degrees Fahrenheit at 8 a.m. local time, according to measurements from the NOAA's National Data Buoy Center. Winds were gusting to 70 mph and the temperature was 12.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The rate of ice accertion, the process of ice building up on solid objects, was more than 15.6 inches an hour, according to the NDBC data.

[Updated at 12:16 p.m. ET] KNOM radio in Nome, Alaska, reports via Twitter that a two-foot diameter log, ice and rocks the size of fists are being blown along Front Street in the town.

[Updated at 11:28 a.m. ET] Major coastal flooding and severe beach erosion is expected along the northern and eastern shores of Norton Sound, the National Weather Service reports. Sea levels are forecast to rise 8 to 10 feet and strong winds may push ice in Norton Bay onshore through Wednesday night, forecasters say.

[Updated at 10:04 a.m. ET] A Twitter user says their mother's house in Kotzebue, Alaska, is shaking so hard in the wind that the woman fell down.

[Updated at 9:53 a.m. ET] The storm is pushing water in to Norton Sound and flooding is anticipated in communities along Alaska's western coast, National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Berg, told CNN Wednesday morning.

Water has moved up to the base of some buildings in Nome and is expected to continue to rise, Berg said. The weather service also has reports of roofs being torn off buildings by high winds in Nome, he said.

The highest gust reported in the storm so far is 89 mph in Wales, Alaska, Berg said.

The weather service has not reported any significant snow accumulation so far, but it has been snowing continuously in some areas since Tuesday, he said.

"When the snow is flying sideways, it's kinda hard to go out and see how much is falling," Berg said.

The center of the storm is pushing northward and will turn to the north-northwest later in the day, he said. Communities including Kivalina and Point Hope will see worsening conditions, according to Berg.

[Updated at 9:34 a.m. ET] The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center reports the storm is generating waves as high as 40 feet in the Bering Sea. Wind gusts up to 83 mph in Cape Lisburne, Alaska, and 76 mph in Wales, Alaska, the agency said.

[Posted at 6:32 a.m. ET] Early Wednesday, Twitter reports said wind speeds in Nome in northwestern Alaska had reached 100 mph. That would be the equivalent of a category 2 hurricane if it occurred in the tropics. Twitter postings reported structural damage in Nome, including the roof blown off a building. Landline phones were down, according to a Twitter post.

"These things get named hurricanes down south and get a category. It's that magnitude," said Jeff Osiensky, regional warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the Anchorage Daily News. The storm's scope was also hurricane-like, he said, covering 750 to 1,000 miles in breadth.

Chip Leeper, incident commander with the Nome government, told CNN that people in low-lying areas and on along the town's sea wall had been advised to seek shelter elsewhere.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Kearney told CNN that Nome could endure sea levels up to 8 feet above normal as well as 10-foot waves.

Other coastal and island villages were preparing evacuations if surf became too high.

Inland, the storm was expected to produce blizzard or near-blizzard conditions across western Alaska, the weather service said. Snow accumulations of up to 14 inches were possible. A Twitter poster reported winds gusts of 50 mph in the inland village of Aniak early Wednesday.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Alaska • Hurricanes • Weather • Winter weather
Alaska faces one of its worst storms ever, forecasters say
The National Weather Service forecast map for Alaska on Tuesday.
November 8th, 2011
05:57 AM ET

Alaska faces one of its worst storms ever, forecasters say

Alaska is facing a life threatening winter storm with near hurricane force winds, more than a foot of snow and severe coastal flooding, the National Weather Service says.

"This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening storm which will be one of the worst on record over the Bering Sea and the west coast," NWS forecasters said in a bulletin Monday afternoon.

The storm was about 600 miles southwest of Shemya in the far western Aleutian Islands on Monday afternoon and was expected to move over the Bering Sea toward Alaska's west coast on Tuesday.

Winds near hurricane force of 74 mph were expected to generate seas as high as 25 feet in the northern Bering Sea, forecasters said. The winds were expected to raise sea levels as much as 9 feet in the Norton Sound. Those levels combined with the high waves were expected to cause significant coastal erosion and major flooding. The winds may also push sea ice on shore, adding to the dangers, NWS forecasters said.

Alaska's west coast could also see as much as 14 inches of snow in blizzard conditions, forecasters said. The storm was expected to last into Wednesday.

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Flooding • Weather • Winter weather
Two wayward killer whales die in freezing Alaska river, NOAA says
Experts will begin necropsy reports on the wayward whales that were found dead in an Alaskan river.
October 11th, 2011
11:07 AM ET

Two wayward killer whales die in freezing Alaska river, NOAA says

A team of four NOAA veterinarians and a killer whale specialist from SeaWorld, San Diego will begin necropsies Tuesday on two wayward killer whales whose carcasses were found in Alaska's Nushagak River, according to NOAA.

The two whales that died and another that has not been spotted since the weekend had sparked concern from scientists who said they had been seen 30 miles up an Alaska river where they normally wouldn't have been.

Marine mammal scientists from the National Marine Fisheries Service said the whales were likely suffering stress from being in fresh water for such an extended period. The scientists worried if the whales didn't head downstream soon, they'd be trapped in the river.

Water levels are dropping as colder temperatures reduce the flow from glaciers into the river. That could make it difficult for the whales to navigate certain sections of the river. And the Nushagak could freeze over by the end of October, according to the fisheries service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA biologist Barbara Mahoney said killer whales are sometimes seen where the Nushagak empties into Nushagak Bay near Dillingham, but none had ever been reported this far inland. In fact, this is the first time killer whales have spent a prolonged period of time in an Alaska river, according to NOAA.

Officials said the orcas are in an area where they are unlikely to encounter humans, but they are asking that people stay 100 yards away for their own safety and that of the animals.

The fisheries service, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and the local Bristol Bay Native Association are monitoring the situation to determine if and how the whales could be returned to salt water, federal officials said.

Killer whales in danger of being stuck in frozen Alaska river
Two orcas swim in Alaska's Nushagak River on Tuesday.
October 7th, 2011
10:55 AM ET

Killer whales in danger of being stuck in frozen Alaska river

Three wayward killer whales are loitering 30 miles up an Alaska river, and federal wildlife officials are concerned they may be iced in when the river freezes over, possibly at the end of the month.

For three weeks, the whales have been spotted in the Nushagak River near Ekwok, Alaska. Marine mammal scientists from the National Marine Fisheries Service say the whales are likely suffering stress from being in fresh water for such an extended period. The scientists say they're also concerned that if the whales don't head downstream soon, they'll be trapped in the river.

Water levels are dropping as colder temperatures reduce the flow from glaciers into the river. That could make it difficult for the whales to navigate certain sections of the river. And the Nushagak could freeze over by the end of October, according to the fisheries service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Animals • Whales
Kill rats and show off Coast Guard firepower, senator says
The Coast Guard cutter Munro intercepted a pirate fishing vessel off Alaska last month.
October 5th, 2011
01:34 PM ET

Kill rats and show off Coast Guard firepower, senator says

What do you do with a rat-infested, stateless pirate fishing vessel? Blow it up to show off the firepower of the Coast Guard's newest, toughest cutters, a U.S. senator says.

Crew from the Coast Guard cutter Munro seized the Bangun Perkasa, which was not operating under a national flag, 2,600 miles off Alaska in September after it was suspected of engaging in fishing with drift nets on the high seas, according to the Coast Guard. Drift net fishing is illegal because the nets indiscriminately kill massive amounts of fish and other marine life such as endangered whales and turtles.

The vessel was found to have been using 10 miles of drift nets and had 22 tons of squid and 30 shark carcasses aboard, the Coast Guard said. The fishing boat and its crew of 22 were towed to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in the Aleutian Islands.

And that's when the Coast Guard found evidence of rats on board.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Environment • Pirates • U.S. Coast Guard
A $64 million runway for no one in Alaska?
The route a hovercraft would take between the village of Akutan and the runway on Akun Island.
September 28th, 2011
12:56 PM ET

A $64 million runway for no one in Alaska?

Remember Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere," a $400 million span that was supposed to connect Ketchikan to its airport on sparsely inhabited Gravina Island? The project gained infamy in 2005 as a waste of taxpayer dollars and the funds earmarked for it were withheld. The 8,000 residents of Ketchikan continue to be connected to their airport by ferry.

Fast forward six years and another remote Alaskan airport project is raising questions about how the government spends money.

The price this time is $77 million and the place is Akutan, a remote island village in the Aleutian chain, according to a report from the Alaska Dispatch.

By next winter Akutan is scheduled to have a 4,500-foot-long runway, built at a cost of $64 million ($59 million in federal and $5 million state funds), the Dispatch reports. The problem is, the runway is on Akun Island, 6 miles from the village across the treacherous waters of the Bering Sea. Plying those waters can be tricky with seas over 6 feet and winds above 30 mph.

Original plans called for using a hovercraft - at a cost of $11 million - to ferry passengers from Akutan to Akun. But, the Dispatch points out, the same model hovercraft planned for the route has proven unreliable under similar conditions elsewhere in Alaska. And when it did run, operating losses were in the millions.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Air travel • Alaska • Travel
Remote Alaska volcano might erupt soon, experts say
This aerial photograph from August 2011 shows the Cleveland Volcano's summit crater.
September 7th, 2011
11:26 AM ET

Remote Alaska volcano might erupt soon, experts say

Alaska's Cleveland Volcano could soon be leaking from its flanks if the lava inside continues to build up, officials at the Alaska Volcano Observatory reported.

The observatory reported that the volcano's lava dome was 262 feet in diameter on August 30 and has now expanded to 394 feet.

"The presence of the lava dome increases the possibility of an explosive eruption, but does not necessarily indicate that one will occur," the observatory said. "Short-lived explosions could produce an ash cloud that exceeds 20,000 ft above sea level."

The observatory said it did not expect air travel problems if the volcano erupted.

Because "the small lava dome in the summit crater has resumed growth and now fills the floor of the crater," the observatory is raising its alert level.

The remote volcano is in the Aleutian Islands, about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Because the volcano is in such a remote area, the observatory webcam feed has experienced technical difficulties. But you can still check the webcam here.

7.1 quake strikes off Alaska
The epicenter of the 7.1-magnitude temblor was in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska's coast.
September 2nd, 2011
07:23 AM ET

7.1 quake strikes off Alaska

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 struck Friday off the coast of Alaska, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake was 6.2 miles deep - a relatively shallow temblor capable of causing damage.

The epicenter was in the Aleutian Islands, about 120 miles from Atka, Alaska.

The quake prompted a tsunami warning for coastal areas of Alaska, from Unimak Pass, Alaska to Amchitka Pass, Alaska, the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in the sparsely populated area near the epicenter.

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Earthquake • Natural Disasters
August 24th, 2011
06:33 PM ET

Alaska's 'Hot-sauce Mom' convicted of child abuse

An Alaska mother's segment on "Dr. Phil" has landed her with the possibility of a jail sentence.

Jessica Beagley was found guilty of misdemeanor child abuse Tuesday. In November, she appeared on the talk show to discuss a video she had submitted of her disciplinary method, in which she had her then 6-year-old son hold hot sauce in his mouth and take a cold shower, said Anchorage prosecutor Cynthia Franklin. The video, which Beagley had e-mailed to the show in November 2009, ignited a debate about whether the tactic constituted abuse.

In the episode, which aired on November 17, 2010, host Phil McGraw challenges Beagley, calling the discipline over-the-top, outrageous and abusive. Authorities launched an investigation on the same day the episode, called "Mommy Confessions," aired.

Beagley's sentencing is scheduled for Monday. She could face a up to year in jail and fine of up to $10,000. Franklin said she was unable to provide any more commentary on the case, because Beagley's sentence is still pending.

The segment featured a home movie of Beagley punishing her son for getting in trouble at school and lying about it. In confessional-style explanations, Beagley provided commentary, saying she had tried other methods of discipline, including time outs and spankings, but to no avail.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Child safety • Courts • Justice • U.S.
Alaskan mystery substance is fungal spores, not eggs, NOAA says
This image, taken with a scanning electron microscope, shows one of the spores that comprised the substance found in Kivalina.
August 18th, 2011
09:01 PM ET

Alaskan mystery substance is fungal spores, not eggs, NOAA says

A mysterious orange substance found on the shores of an Alaskan village this month is a mass of fungal spores, not microscopic eggs as an initial analysis indicated, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday.

The spores are consistent with those that come from a fungus that causes rust, a plant-only disease that causes a rust-like appearance on leaves and stems, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service said.

This orange substance mystified residents of Kivalina, Alaska, when it appeared on their shore August 3.

A NOAA lab in Juneau, Alaska, said last week that the substance appeared to be a mass of microscopic eggs, possibly those of a small crustacean. But samples were then taken to a NOAA lab with more advanced equipment including a scanning electron microscope in Charleston, South Carolina, NOAA spokeswoman Julie Speegle said.

That equipment and consultation with various specialists helped lead to the latest determination, said Steve Morton, a research oceanographer with the Charleston lab. It’s not known whether the spores belong to one of the 7,800 known rust fungi species, NOAA said.

“The spores are unlike others we and our network of specialists have examined. However, many rust fungi of the Arctic tundra have yet to be identified,” Morton said in a news release.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Environment • Nature
Alaska's mystery substance is mass of eggs, lab says
This orange substance mystified residents of Kivalina, Alaska, when it appeared on their shore Wednesday.
August 8th, 2011
10:26 PM ET

Alaska's mystery substance is mass of eggs, lab says

A mysterious orange substance that washed up on the shores of an Alaskan village last week was a mass of microscopic, invertebrate eggs, possibly those of a small crustacean, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab said Monday.

More testing will determine the species and whether the eggs - whose appearance on the shores of Kivalina in northwest Alaska startled residents Wednesday - are toxic, said Julie Speegle, representative of the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Auke Bay Laboratories.

Residents of Kivalina, an Inupiat Eskimo village of about 430 people, found the substance in its lagoon - giving the lagoon an orange sheen - and clumps of the orange stuff on the beach. A resident who took pictures of the substance, Mida Swan, said last week that it had an oily feel, like baby oil.

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Environment • Nature
Mystery substance comes to shore of Alaskan village
This orange substance was found on the shore of Kivalina, Alaska, on Wednesday, residents say.
August 5th, 2011
09:44 PM ET

Mystery substance comes to shore of Alaskan village

State and federal scientists are trying to identify a mysterious orange substance that washed up on the shore of a village in northwestern Alaska this week.

Residents on Wednesday noticed an orange sheen in the lagoon in front of Kivalina, Alaska, and clumps of the substance on the beach, city manager Janet Mitchell said.

An orange sheen could be seen in the lagoon.

The stuff on the shore had "an oily feel to it, like baby oil," resident Mida Swan said Friday. She said she detected no odor from the substance.

The substance also may have rained down on the village Wednesday evening, because it was found in buckets that some residents used to collect rainwater that night, Mitchell said.

The state Environmental Health Laboratory is preparing to send samples to scientists at various labs, including a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration laboratory, said Emanuel Hignutt, the EHL's analytical chemistry manager.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Environment
The (World Eskimo-Indian) Games have begun
The four-man carry is but one of several competitions at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, which runs through Saturday.
July 21st, 2011
09:06 AM ET

The (World Eskimo-Indian) Games have begun

[Update] The games are in full sway in Fairbanks, Alaska, home of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, featuring some of the most awesome, and unusual, competitions you've likely never heard of.

The event, in its 50th year, is centered around competitions based on techniques and activities tied to surviving in the Arctic.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Alaska • Sports • U.S.
« older posts
newer posts »