Southeast Alaska is experiencing drought - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, May 11, 2021
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Southeast Alaska is experiencing drought

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DRY, COLD FEBRUARY IN SOUTHEAST

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.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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