After seven days in the dark, the lights came back on in Diomede last week, just in time for the community to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.
According to the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), a technician landed on the Bering Sea island and restored power to the community Thursday afternoon. David Lee, an Emergency Management Specialist with SEOC says Frances Ozenna reported the good news to his office using a sat phone. Multiple attempts by KNOM to reach Ozenna for this story have gone unanswered.
Lee suspects the original cause of the power outage could’ve been a line break, however the exact reason is still unknown as the contracted technician has not yet relayed his diagnosis to SEOC.
Despite having electricity and heat again, Diomede residents seem to still be without phone service. Lee says land lines are currently unable to receive incoming calls or make outgoing calls. In order for Tel Alaska to get on the ground and fix the phone issues, a repairman will have to fly to the island community on a Pathfinder helicopter.
It is unclear when Diomede’s phone lines will be working properly again.
*Update: Phone lines have been restored in Diomede as of December 3rd.
Image at top: Diomede, Alaska. Photo from KNOM file.