Southeast Alaska is experiencing drought



All of Southeast Alaska is in an extended drought, which has led Ketchikan to remain on diesel power for electrical generation until the lakes that supply hydropower replenish.

Upper and Lower Silvis Lakes, Ketchikan Lake, Swan Lake, and Whitman Lake are all experiencing low levels of water, and the Ketchikan utility is asking residents to conserve on power, especially during peak usage hours in the morning and after work. Ketchikan has had drought conditions for most of the past year.

Petersburg has had the driest February on record, with 3.17 inches of rain, but more snow than usual.

In Haines, the .77 inch of precipitation in February was the fourth lowest on record.

It was a colder and drier in Juneau, where snowfall trended lower than normal. The Mendenhall River and Montana Creek are below normal but so far, there’s no power emergency, although the Drought Center has raised the drought intensity in both Juneau and Sitka to Moderate, while Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg are considered Severe.

Check out the United States Geological Survey’s drought maps here.