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Volume 32, Issue 3

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Friday, 03 October 2014 05:00

A Cooperative Extension Collaboration Along the Yukon River of Alaska

Written by  Art Nash, Kyle Wright, Rachel Lee,

On the mighty Yukon River, residents of the remote Athabascan village of Galena (traditionally a fur trading and Cold War defense community) encountered abnormal spring weather in 2013 due to an excessively late thaw, which lead to 30 miles of the river being backed up behind an ice jam. On May 23, 2013, the ice let go, and large icebergs the size of cars swept into the village, knocking over diesel fuel tanks, inundating vehicles, and displacing homes and sheds while unearthing sewer mains that had once been buried under dirt roads in this village of 350 people. The rapid rise of water required people to be evacuated out of their residences by boat. Subsequently, many ran out of their homes without medications, family photos, wallets, and other valuable papers and money. At the near-flooded airstrip, people were quickly assembled to be airlifted out by the military (once the pilots capitulated