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4/1/2020 4:14:10 PM
4/1/2020 6:58:51 AM
Posted: 1/11/2005 1:18:03 PM EDT
Well I see now that the village my station is at, Kaktovik, has more than a couple of CNN Headlines news factoids at the bottom.  There is commentary and short video at about 48-52 minutes after the hour.

Blackhawks and C-130 are here now, again.  I think they will be successful in making it into the village and getting the power back on.

Power actually went off Saturday night at about 10:20pm, half the village lost power and our radar station went on generator power.  Affected villagers took shelter in the school which has a backup power generator.  Then Sunday the rest of the village lost power as did the school's backup.

Winds hit 85mph, but it warmed up from -17F to +15deg...
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 1:32:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 1:42:19 PM EDT by doorgunner84]
Mike,

Those aren't "Blackhawks" those are PAVEHAWKS Bro!  My buddies launched yesterday evening.  I had wondered if they made it in last night.  If they're still there now it makes me wonder if they're goning to fly us in tonight to bring the birds home.

Dg84

Edited:

Just got a phone call from my friend...  They just might be Army Blackhawks.  Guess my boys couldn't get through the pass last night and ended up in Fairbanks.  They flew  7.8hrs trying to get there.  Damn.  Hope you guys warm up soon.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 3:19:14 PM EDT
You guys alright up there? I have enough trouble with this 40 below stuff without the wind.  That would drive me plumb crazy.

Good luck
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:19:06 PM EDT
Pulling for ya man . Stay sane .
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 4:28:36 PM EDT
I hope you are OK...  

I can't even really remember the real cold from my winters up there...  Right now in Delaware its all of +43F and I am starting to think it will never snow here this winter...

Is it wrong to miss seasons?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:02:59 PM EDT
AK_Mike

I know you are having fun and enjoying yourself.  

Just do not shoot at anything that is flying for awhile.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:31:03 PM EDT
DId I mention I am in Florida for Training?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 6:33:27 PM EDT
What you have to look forward to when you get back to Fairbanks
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:39:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 7:43:18 PM EDT by AK_Mike]
That sign probably needs calibrating, looks like it's reading a bit high

Yeah, Blackhawks flown by Army Air National Guard?  Is that name even kosher?  At anyrate, no way for me to even see what they are cause visibility is nil.  I don't think the C-130 landed (and oddly, I just heard another plane go by just now), but at least one helo landed or was able to drop off a lineman from Barrow.  The dude is good and has restored power every time he has come.

I feel a bit shameful because I'm actually as snug as a bug in a rug.  Our radar station is self sufficient as long as we get fuel, water, and sewage service from time to time.  We used to have our own bulk fuel tanks (hundreds of thousands of gallons DFA), sewage plant, water station, and power but downsizing us has us dependent on the village for prime services now.  The only thing that has changed around my facility is that we have been on our own generator power and I haven't been going outside to dump the garbage bags into the dumpster (we used to have our own dump as well but closed it).  It's a full Air Force station, but partially deactivated - only two employees here and capacity for a dozen visitors.

However, all the good thoughts and wishes will be forwarded to the village, they really, really need it.  I can't imagine the damage already done besides shivering in the dark eating dry food for a couple of days.  Everything in the clinic froze, all the perishables and dry goods in the stores froze, everything in the homes probably froze.  Not everything can take being frozen, let alone the people.  Believe me, it has really hit the fan now and things are going to change after this.  They were already taking steps but this storm hit before they could happen.  Storm has been going on since Friday but seems to have let up somewhat, winds are probably back down to 45-60 and temp is around 11.

The military was already responding to this situation but when it hit the news, things got shoved into high gear up and down the chain.  Yesterday the C-130 failed to make it in and had to return.  From what I understand (since some of our stations are kept supplied by C-130 flights), it costs $30,000+ just to make a roundtrip regardless of distance and cargo.  Blackhawks were something like $1600 an hour but that was some years ago.  The government isn't being paid for these operations, they are saving the village's collective ass out of duty and compassion.

Not all our tax dollars are wasted.

I'm confident at least partial power, if not all, will be restored tonight if the storm doesn't defeat them.  There are no spacers in the power lines here so high winds slap them together, shorting out the distibution net.  I think we will be spacers soon after this snafu.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 10:32:09 PM EDT
Glad your doing ok and hope everyone else gets power soon.  Its kind of reminisent of when the boiler blew at UAF a few years back but much worse.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 10:55:44 PM EDT
Just passed by the sign at Fred Meyers -55F.  Although it would make a cool pic, it is too damn cold to go back and take one.
All I know is it is damn cold

Mike, hope everything goes well for you and for the residents out there.  I can only imagine the despair that they must be feeling right now

Chris
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 11:14:28 PM EDT
Good news, electrical techs made it in, Cat Train on the way though I'm not entirely sure why.

Guess it was a Pave Hawk after all, Doorgunner!

I'd still take -55F in Fairbanks cause at least I'd be home stuck at home fondling my girlfriend and guns, not necessarily in that order... I really MISS my guns, I didn't bring any up here with me, not even a bear gun!  I am in shooting withdrawals in a bad way.  What good is it to have an obscene collection of guns, NFA, and ammo and not get to touch or even look at it.  I'm pulling 8 months of continuous duty out here this time around, but spending all summer at home where 24hr sunlight will get me some serious trigger time.  CAN'T WAIT!!!



SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

Tuesday, January 11, 2005 · Last updated 9:22 p.m. PT

Helicopter reaches Kaktovik with power plant technicians

By MARY PEMBERTON
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- An Alaska National Guard helicopter reached Kaktovik on Tuesday with technicians who hoped to repair the village's damaged power system.

Kaktovik, an Arctic village of about 300, lost power Sunday when a blizzard packing near hurricane-force winds drove temperatures to 20 degrees below zero. With wind chill, the temperature was about 60 below.

Some homes have been without power since Friday.

Kaktovik's power plant quit Sunday evening. Many residents sought shelter at the village school until it lost power on Sunday too, said Jim Butchart of the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Eight or nine families from the school were moved to the village's heavy equipment maintenance building because it still had power. About 100 people were staying in the building.

Alaska National Guard spokeswoman Kalei Brooks said a Pave Hawk helicopter and an HC130 cargo airplane reached the village Tuesday afternoon. Snow drifts on the runway kept the airplane from landing, but the helicopter touched down in the village itself 2 to 3 miles away.

The time on the ground was brief - just five to 10 minutes, Brooks said.

"It was on the ground long enough to offload the technicians they need to restore the power," she said, plus about 600 pounds of portable generating equipment.

Both aircraft immediately headed back to Anchorage more than 630 miles away.

A second C130 cargo plane on Tuesday picked up about 4,000 pounds of generators, oil and other equipment in Barrow before heading to Kaktovik.

The plane was unable to land in the village Tuesday night, so it flew to Deadhorse in the Prudhoe Bay oil fields, said Mike Haller, a spokesman for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. From there, the equipment was loaded onto SnoCats for a 100-mile overland trip to the stricken village, estimated to take 24 to 36 hours, Haller said.

Generators that continued to work in the village had an estimated two days of fuel remaining, Brooks said.

Conditions remained much the same Tuesday with temperatures at minus-25 degrees and winds gusting up to 65 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Two earlier attempts to reach the village failed.

One crew using night vision goggles got as far as Arctic Village, about 150 miles south of Kaktovik before turning back, Haller said.

"They got as far as Arctic Village and ran into a complete, total whiteout and couldn't proceed any further," he said.

The first mission failed Monday when a C-130 plane reached Barrow about 325 miles west of Kaktovik but stayed put because of strong winds.

The power failure has led to a freeze-up of all heavy equipment, making it impossible to keep roads passable. Snow drifts now are higher than the school, said Noe Texeira, a spokeswoman in the North Slope Borough mayor's office.

People who couldn't leave their homes are using propane stoves, kerosene heaters and wood stoves to try to stay warm, or bundling up in arctic gear. No injuries have been reported, said Dennis O. Packer, also in the mayor's office.

Kaktovik is on the north shore of Barter Island between the Okpilak and Jago rivers on the Beaufort Sea coast. It's the only village in the 19.6-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Link Posted: 1/12/2005 12:00:38 AM EDT
Mike

Here you go, a little taste of home

Chris

Link Posted: 1/12/2005 12:22:42 AM EDT
Fuck... -55!

And I gotta go up to Fairbanks tomorrow and pick up one Helicopter that didn't make it home.

Great
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 12:25:13 AM EDT
Here is the AP story for anyone who cares

Helicopter reaches isolated Arctic village

By MARY PEMBERTON
The Associated Press



ANCHORAGE — An Alaska National Guard helicopter reached Kaktovik yesterday with technicians who hoped to repair the village's damaged power system.

Kaktovik, an Arctic village of about 300, lost power Sunday when a blizzard packing near hurricane-force winds drove temperatures to 20 degrees below zero. With wind chill, the temperature was about 60 below.

Some homes have been without power since Friday.

Kaktovik's power plant quit Sunday evening. Many residents sought shelter at the village school until it lost power Sunday, too, said Jim Butchart of the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Eight or nine families from the school were moved to the village's heavy-equipment maintenance building because it still had power. About 100 people were staying there.

Alaska National Guard spokeswoman Kalei Brooks said a Pave Hawk helicopter and an HC130 cargo airplane reached the village yesterday afternoon. Snow drifts on the runway kept the airplane from landing, but the helicopter touched down in the village itself, 2 or 3 miles away.

The time on the ground was brief — just five to 10 minutes, Brooks said.

"It was on the ground long enough to offload the technicians they need to restore the power," she said, plus about 600 pounds of portable generating equipment.

Both aircraft immediately headed back to Anchorage more than 630 miles away.

A second C130 cargo plane yesterday headed north to Barrow. From there, it was to pick up about 4,000 pounds of generators, oil and other equipment.

If unable to land, Brooks said, the plane would head for Deadhorse in the Prudhoe Bay oil fields, and the equipment would be loaded onto SnoCats for a 100-mile overland trip to the stricken village, estimated to take 24 to 36 hours.

Generators that continued to work in the village had an estimated two days of fuel remaining, Brooks said.

"If we can't land that plane, we need to get that convoy out as soon as possible," she said.

Conditions remained much the same yesterday with temperatures at minus-25 degrees and winds gusting up to 65 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Two earlier attempts to reach the village failed.

One crew using night-vision goggles got as far as Arctic Village, 150 miles south of Kaktovik, before turning back, said Mike Haller, a spokesman for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

"They got as far as Arctic Village and ran into a complete, total whiteout," he said.

The first mission failed Monday when a C-130 plane reached Barrow about 325 miles west of Kaktovik but stayed put because of strong winds.

The power failure has led to a freeze-up of all heavy equipment, making it impossible to keep roads passable. Snow drifts now are higher than the school, said Noe Texeira, a spokeswoman in the North Slope Borough mayor's office.

People who couldn't leave their homes are using propane stoves, kerosene heaters and wood stoves to try to stay warm, or bundling up in arctic gear.

Kaktovik is on the north shore of Barter Island on the Beaufort Sea coast. It's the only village in the 19.6-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 12:26:02 AM EDT
And I gotta go up to Fairbanks tomorrow and pick up one Helicopter that didn't make it home.

Don't worry Doorgunner, it's a "dry cold"
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 1:06:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By uafgrad:
Don't worry Doorgunner, it's a "dry cold"


Thats sig-line material!
Between that line, and the picture of the -55F sign....I don't think I'll be complaining about the temp here in MO this winter.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 2:52:37 AM EDT
Thanks, Chris.  Strangely enough, that picture really does make me yearn for home in a twisted way.  I've been out here too long.  Did I mention I plan to buy a home in Nevada to winter in?

Wind chill isn't crap to me, -100F windchill doesn't even raise my eyebrows.  -55 is -55 without any freaking wind.  Ice fog, square vehicle tires, dead batteries, and frozen windows.  Yeah, baby!  It's tough but it keeps out a lot of the riff-raff.  Even liberal hippies don't like that kind of cold.  I'm going to save that picture and frame it, post it whenever someone whines about +55.  At these temps, you find out what lube cuts the mustard (and when NOT to lube!) Once I waited a couple of weeks for it to just get up from -40 to -20 and I hit the range.  I go with loaded magazines.  I jump out, fire a few magazines in rapid fashion, then dive back to the warm car.  I make it a point to stay out longer than others just to show who's balls shrank the least
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 2:56:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By doorgunner84:
Fuck... -55!

And I gotta go up to Fairbanks tomorrow and pick up one Helicopter that didn't make it home.

Great



I forgot to mention a collective thanks to you and your boys, doorgunner.  Just to try and fly in under incredibly adverse and dangerous conditions takes a lot of cajones.  To have to turn back is a serious bummer for both sides.  Myself, I can't see as how any helo could land under these miserable conditions.  I've always wanted to ride a chopper but no way in hell would I go under these conditions!
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 9:14:19 AM EDT
AK_Mike

Looks like you will be getting a cat-train comeing out of Dead Horse to fix things.  If you need a safe place to store your firearms There are a couple of us on the board that could help you that way.  It would be a shame to have two weeks off a month and not help a friend out with his firearms.  I will even store some of your ammo if you like.  Just a thought.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 11:33:10 AM EDT
Man I thought it was cold here in Los Angeles when the temps drops down to 40ºF, but when you're talking about -40ºF, that changes the whole new ball game.
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 1:03:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arcticbear:
AK_Mike

Looks like you will be getting a cat-train comeing out of Dead Horse to fix things.  If you need a safe place to store your firearms There are a couple of us on the board that could help you that way.  It would be a shame to have two weeks off a month and not help a friend out with his firearms.  I will even store some of your ammo if you like.  Just a thought.



 That's what ARF friends are for, eh?


Power has been restored to the village, storm is subsiding!
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 3:37:32 PM EDT
AK_Mike

It was worth a try...yes? You have a nice collection and I do have that new house.  I think all new houses need a nice home warming gift  

Did you guys really get power back?  I sure hope so.  It is not nice to be without power/heat that far North.  
Link Posted: 1/12/2005 6:39:13 PM EDT
it was -50 this morning.


3 days ago it was +30.
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