Ice In, Ice Out

Nome, Alaska, from the frozen Bering Sea

With temperatures plunging well below zero for many days on end in recent weeks, it’s no surprise that the Norton Sound waters along Nome’s coast are ensheathed beneath a thick layer of ice.

The sea ice immediately near Nome (as of February) is strong enough to support not only humans but, also, snowmachines (snowmobiles) and even some pickup trucks. The panorama below shows a perspective only possible in mid-to-late winter: the skyline of Nome as seen from the solid ground of the frozen Bering Sea.

Nome, Alaska, from the frozen Bering Sea (full panorama)

Nome, Alaska, from the frozen Bering Sea; early February 2015. photo: David Dodman, KNOM.

This sea ice allows for transportation and even subsistence food gathering activities not possible at any other time of year; some of our listeners travel from one community to another via over-ice routes and harvest king crab from through-the-ice traps.

But for at least one community within our listening range, that wasn’t possible last month. In February, an announcement on KNOM warned the community of Elim (EE-lim) and environs that the sea ice had dissipated, making overland routes the only safe option for snowmachine or “four-wheeler” (all-terrain vehicle/ATV) travelers.

This is but one example of the crucial communications role your support makes possible, each year. Thanks so much.

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