The lights are back on in Newtok. After three days without electricity, power returned to the village Sunday evening.
According to Assistant Tribal Administrator Dalen Awaluk, the community power company turned off Newtok’s electricity Thursday afternoon for maintenance.
Throughout the cold days he says that people without wood stoves or personal generators slept in the school to keep warm and community members brought food to feed the crowd.
Awaluk’s wife carried over canned fruit, pilot bread crackers, beef jerky, and chicken fried rice. His family has a generator and stayed in their home.
He says that the community has been here before. Last winter a generator broke down, leaving Newtok without electricity for five days during the middle of winter.
Awaluk says that this outage wasn’t as cold as the last one, and that the outage last winter prepared the village to know what to do during a multi-day blackout.