Stebbins store fire leaves one third of community without power

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A major fire at the one store in Stebbins, Alaska on Monday has left one third of that western Alaska community without power, and a community without a store or fuel, as winter sets in on isolated St. Michael’s Island on Norton Sound.

The village of Stebbins is eight miles north of the village of St. Michael’s, and 120 miles southeast of Nome. It is a Yup’ik Eskimo village of about 625 people, with a commercial fishing and subsistence way of life. The store is completely destroyed.

There is no fire department in Stebbins, and the fire spread to a nearby fuel company, which also caught fire. There was no one inside the building and no one was injured in the blaze, which is still smoldering at the time of this story’s publication.

The community is converting the laundromat into a temporary store and groceries and other supplies are waiting in Nome and Unalakleet for weather, which is said to be freezing rain, Must Read Alaska learned on Tuesday. A power crew is also standing by in Nome to get into Stebbins to restore the power.

Stebbins was recently hit hard by a September storm that sent up to eight feet of water through the community and left several families displaced. That super-storm hit the coastal communities all the way to Nome. The storm took out all the subsistence fishing gear, fish racks, and other supplies that subsistence Alaskans depend on. Nonprofits and governments have been providing aid to the village to help families who were displaced or whose fishing gear was destroyed.

There is no firewood in the area, because the ecology of the area supports no real trees. Gov. Mike Dunleavy said the Division of Homeland Security’s Emergency Operations Center and non-profit groups are working together to assess and address the situation, and coordinate an ongoing response.

When a plane can get a weather clearance to fly, supplies will be flown to St. Michaels, where they will be trucked to Stebbins.

11 COMMENTS

  1. This is crap. Get the military in there and stabilize the situation. They can bring generators, other equipment and supplies. They might learn better “Arctic” tactics of survival than what they learned in basic training. And go home with dried Salmon.
    How dare you leave your family out in the cold.

  2. Freezing rain will make things difficult for aircraft. But I like the suggestion about using the military. What better way of learning about Arctic peoples and their environment than honing their skills here. I pray for better flying weather so things can get rolling.

  3. PS. Who was new in town that day, educated, smiling globalist on the sneak on possibly “destabilizing” operations of which the satan worshipers are so fond? Right into the illustrious poky with him/them. Somebody probably has a good hunch. Ask the pilots! Please investigate?

  4. Also, ADN lurkers make yourself useful. What’s the dellio with flood insurance, private insurance availability sand Jidens fema premiums. I have heard where in existence the premiums have jumped to a tidy, satanic $666 per premium. Let’s run their wef, coordinated in situ up on a damed flagpole and to hell with pomp and circumstance of which they ARE damned fond of with platefuls of salmon roll around at global lobbyists quartets in Juno.

  5. Another great idea for other news bureaus with mild curiosity and who would like to win a Pulitzer, again. What is the economic effect on Alaskan economy of Alaskan land settlement legislative enactments? Do you like graphs? Extrapolations? This assignment could be fun.

  6. This is nothing new. While I was in gamble I saw several houses burned to the ground. It was such an event that even gym night spilled out to watch the occasion. There was nothing anybody can do because the houses were tender boxes and there was little if any firefighting equipment. And stebbins during this time, there was a report that they were getting a new tank farm and the construction crew that was there were rocked by Stone throwing thugs and the workers escaped to the cabs of their heavy machinery to get away from the pelting. It became so bad that the construction crew pulled off of the site valley not to go back until your safety could be guaranteed by the council. The tank farm eventually pick back up but not before it took The village’s fuel delivery off the calendar for that year. I believe they had to fly fuel in from gnome one barrel at a time rather than get there yearly bulk delivery from the barge. I also was in a village once where there were basically three families that ran the council and they were arguing over which one got to be in charge of the Federal Grant to buy fire equipment. In the end they decided all three would get a piece of the pie. One was in charge of buying the hoses, one was in charge of buying the pumps and one was in charge of buying all the fittings. When it came time for their first fire outing, you might have been able to guess that the lack of communication led to ordering the wrong pieces for firefighting and none of the fittings are pumps would attach to each other. So with the money spent, there was no way to get the correct parts and fittings to put something together. During the next several fires all we could do was watch a backhoe buckets of snow into the fire which did nothing. The attitude around the fire was surreal. It was almost like people showed up with their hot dogs and made an event out of it. It was kind of hard to get used to for The outsiders to watch but local folks took it in stride.

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