Skip to main Content
Rural Alaska

Power outages threaten subsistence harvests in Western Alaska village

The village of Tuluksak and the Kuskokwim River are seen on May 5, 2015, in this file photo. (Lisa Demer / Anchorage Daily News)

BETHEL — An ongoing power outage in the Western Alaska village of Tuluksak has caused some residents to lose their summer subsistence harvest.

The lack of electricity in the village on the lower Kuskokwim River means freezers storing the salmon harvests are largely not functioning, KYUK-AM reported Friday.

Resident Angela Alexie said power has been out for about a week, and it was also out for a week in July.

Some residents have installed generators to adapt to the frequent multiday outages. Alexie said she got a generator about two years ago after losing her fall and winter subsistence catch to an outage, but it can power only a few small appliances and not her freezer.

"I had to take some of my fish out and take it over to my parents' freezer before I lost everything," Alexie said.

Alexie has lost about a quarter of her subsistence fish, which is shared among her parents and sisters. Alexie is hoping for a strong silver salmon run to help replace the lost catch, but the August weather is not expected to be as favorable as it was during the earlier harvest.

The Tuluksak Native Community operates the power plant and expects repair parts to reach Alaska this week.

"Here and there, there's more generators every year in the village," Alexie said.

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.