Skip to main Content
Rural Alaska

Power restored to Newtok after four days

  • Author: Lisa Demer
  • Updated: September 30, 2016
  • Published January 20, 2016

BETHEL – Power was restored Wednesday to the Western Alaska village of Newtok, four days after its main generator malfunctioned.

The Alaska Energy Authority flew a generator engine and two mechanics to the village.

"Power is on!" Emily Ford, energy authority policy and outreach manager, said in an email Wednesday just before 9 p.m.

Residents have been heating homes with wood and many were sleeping at the Newtok school, which uses a separate generator.

The energy authority mechanic and a village team worked together Wednesday to bolt the engine in place.

The radiator fan stopped working, which caused the generator engine to overheat and shut down, according to a mechanic at the village utility.

Newtok currently has two students in a power plant operator training course, Ford said. That may prevent a similar problem in the future, but in this case, "time was not on their side," she said.

For more newsletters click here

Local news matters.

Support independent, local journalism in Alaska.