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Unalakleet’s boil water notice extended as work on main water line continues

The City of Unalakleet now has a working generator to power its local water plant, but the community plans to be on a boil water notice for an extended period of time.

Unalakleet’s Mayor Thomas Simonsson told KNOM the community is using a temporary water line to their water tank while they work to repair their main line.

Part of the challenge with maintaining safe drinking water for residents was the community’s generator went down during the recent storm.

Bering Straits Native Corporation sent a replacement generator to Unalakleet on Sept. 21, Larry Pederson, Vice President of Nome Operations with BSNC, said during yesterday’s City of Nome emergency operations meeting.

“They had a very temporary situation for their water out there. They had a welder hooked up to one of their smaller pumps in their water plant to get low pressure getting back to the community because their main generator went out during the storm and they haven’t been able to get it back up,” Pederson explained. “We supplied them with a 20kilowat generator from one of our subsidiaries in Anchorage.”

City officials had to do some modifications to the generator in order for it to power the water plant, Mayor Simonsson said. Now they are focused on getting enough water in the tank to backwash and filter out the contaminants.

Unalakleet will most likely be on an extended boil water notice for weeks, Simonsson said. But in the meantime, the community is receiving bottled water shipments every two weeks supplied by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and various donations from regional, state and even national organizations like World Central Kitchen.


Image at top: Driftwood from the storm piled up at Powers Creek in Unalakleet. Photo courtesy of City of Unalakleet Facebook page.

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