The Arctic Sounder

Power outage left half of Point Hope without heat and water overnight this weekend

A power outage in Point Hope on Friday left half of the village without electricity, heat and water for about a day. The power has been since restored, but some issues persist, residents said.

The village of about 900 experienced the outage around 8 p.m., according to a statement from the North Slope Borough. The borough flew a lineman from Fairbanks to Point Hope the next day, on Saturday. The power was fully restored at about 3 p.m., borough officials said.

No injuries were reported as a result of the outage, officials said, and an assessment of damaged infrastructure was underway.

Throughout Saturday, residents shared on social media that their houses had no running water and no heat.

The air temperature remained in single digits from Friday night through Saturday, with wind chill up to 25 below.

“It was like old times, waking up cold and chilly,” resident Hilda Attungana said.

The Native Village of Point Hope opened an emergency center for affected residents at the Tikigaq School on Friday and stayed open on Sunday. There, residents were able to fill up their water containers.


“They opened the school to locals for water and showers and to get food since most everyone was without power,” resident Effie Dirks said. “The whole town lights were off.”

The borough also sent a charter plane to the village on Saturday around 5 p.m. carrying blankets, cots, water jugs and honey buckets with seats. Officials planned to send additional personnel and water later that night.

Good afternoon Tikigaq! We will be assisting North Slope Borough durning this time making sure Point Hope residents...

Posted by Tikigaq Corporation on Saturday, December 16, 2023

Throughout Tuesday, pipes were still frozen in some houses in Point Hope, residents said.

“North Slope Borough still working on houses, one by one, to fix the frozen water pipes around town,” said Dirks, who was without water Sunday.

“People (are) asking for honey buckets,” Steve Oomittuk said.

“The water guys are working many hours in the cold to get the water running for the fire hydrants and residents’ homes,” Attungana said Tuesday morning.

Native Village of Point Hope Executive Director Adela Lane was assisting the borough in distributing honey buckets and water containers. The school remained open for anyone to take showers, Attungana said.

To report housing issues, residents can contact borough Housing Program Manager Jeremy Goodwin at 907-319-7939.

Alena Naiden

Alena Naiden writes about communities in the North Slope and Northwest Arctic regions for the Arctic Sounder and ADN. Previously, she worked at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.