Public Media for Alaska's Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

As the power returns to Quinhagak, people are waiting to see if pipes have burst

The village of Quinhagak.
Gabby Salgado
The village of Quinhagak.

Technicians restored power to Quinhagak on the evening of Dec. 12, but some homes didn't have power restored due to a broken transformer. Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) scheduled an outage for the south side of Quinhagak for 12 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 13 to replace the broken transformer.

Edward Mark is a city council member and teaches at the school. When he answered the phone on Dec. 13 he was chopping wood.

“The last update from the public safety was that they were looking for community members, men, to go out and get wood for those people that do have wood stoves but had run out of wood, you know,” Mark said. “And they were focused on the Elders first.”

Quinhagak doesn’t have many trees, so people usually travel far upriver to gather wood.

“People would go all the way to Kwethluk to get some, you know, Christmas tree wood, some pine wood. Majority of the woods gathered are from Kwethluk because we only have alders here.”

The public safety team said that they would provide gas money to anyone who assisted them.

As heat returns and frozen pipes begin to thaw, the community will start to see the extent of the water damage.

“Just because the electricity is back on doesn't mean we're out of danger. Now is the point where we will see which pipes [have burst], then which pipes are not working,” Mark said. “It's still an issue because, you know, there's going to be, if the pipes burst, they're going to have water damage. It's going to cost thousands of dollars if the water’s inside the house and interior.”

City administrator Tracy Pleasant said that Quinhagak's government will survey the extent of the damages in the coming days.

Editor's note: Information about a state disaster declaration was removed to be independently verified.

Sunni is a reporter and radio lover. Her favorite part of the job is sitting down and having a good conversation.
Related Content