Environmental stories that take place in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Courtesy of BSAR

Travelers need to stay off Straight Slough, which flows into the main Kuskokwim River near Bethel. That’s according to the latest river update from Bethel Search and Rescue. The report says that there are four open holes close to Bethel.

Courtesy of Google Maps

High winds and warm temperatures caused flooding in Kipnuk in the early hours of Dec. 10. Facebook photos showed water flowing down slushy roads; Kipnuk sits three miles from the Bering Sea coast.

Courtesy of Rick Garcia

A big winter storm came in from the Bering Sea and battered the Western Alaska coast from the evening of Nov. 25 through Nov. 26. Some communities, like Hooper Bay, have reported flooding. Others have reported power outages. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

Ten years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers released a report that detailed the impacts of erosion in Alaska Native communities.

Don Antrobus is the Program Manager for the Village Infrastructure Protection Program at the Denali Commission, and helped guide an updated report that documents erosion and other environmental threats facing the communities: erosion, thawing permafrost, and flooding. Antrobus says that all are made worse by climate change. 

On the left is a picture of Kuskokwak Slough on Nov. 19, 2018. On the right is a picture of the same area on Nov. 18, 2019.
Mark Leary / Bethel Search and Rescue

Despite a late freeze-up again this year, the Kuskokwim River looks different than it did at this time last year - in a good way. But Bethel Search and Rescue doesn’t think people should be revving up their snowmachines just yet. 

National Weather Service Screenshot

A blizzard warning has been issued for the Kuskokwim Delta. Beginning around 6:00 a.m. on Nov. 19, winds of 35 to 45 miles per hour are expected, with gusts as high as 60 miles per hour. 

Courtesy of BLM

The Orutsararmiut Native Council calling the federal planning process for how 13 million acres of public land is managed in the region “woefully inadequate.” BLM says that they are taking more steps to reach out. 

RurAL CAP's Weatherization Assistance Program serviced half the homes in Quingahak.
Courtesy of RurAL CAP

RurAL CAP has set up its equipment in Bethel to weatherize homes. Prior to this year they were in Quinhagak, where about half the homes in town were improved. 

The Kuskokwim River in the process of freezing up.
Courtesy of Cece Franko

The ongoing freeze up on the Kuskokwim River has been causing issues for barge companies. Last month, one boat belonging to Alaska Logistics spilled oil and another got stuck, both due to ice. 

The NWS has issued a winter storm warning for the Kuskokwim Delta until 5 a.m. on Nov. 6, 2019.
National Weather Service screenshot

The winter storm warning issued for the Kuskokwim Delta continues through 5 a.m. on Wednesday. The National Weather Service predicts freezing rain to continue, with ice accumulating up a half inch in most areas. The highest ice accumulation is predicted to be along the coast. Northwest of Bethel, up to 3 inches of snow fall is also possible. The National Weather Service cautions that “travel could be extremely hazardous.”