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Video: Noorvik celebration goes on until Dunleavy arrives

  • Author: Marc Lester
  • Updated: June 20, 2019
  • Published December 3, 2018
Gov. Mike Dunleavy planned to be inaugurated in Noorvik, but weather prevented it. Dunleavy flew there after being sworn in in Kotzebue. (Marc Lester / ADN)

Weather prevented Mike Dunleavy from being inaugurated in Noorvik as planned — but he made it eventually.

To celebrate his first day on the job as Alaska’s governor, Dunleavy planned to hold his inauguration in Noorvik, a moosey Inupiat village 20 miles above the Arctic Circle that’s also his wife’s hometown. As it so often does, bad weather doused those plans.

Instead, his flight was re-routed to Kotzebue, 43 miles away, and he was sworn in at the school gymnasium there.

“We’re certainly going to miss him, but disappointed? We try to keep the negative out,” Noorvik resident Elsie Sampson said early Monday when it was unclear if Dunleavy would be able to reach the village. “We want to teach our children, if things don’t work out the way we want them to, just be accepting of it and just keep moving on.”

Afterward, Dunleavy finally made it to Noorvik, where he was greeted warmly.