Power Back on in Tuluksak

The village of Tuluksak regained power early this morning after a two-day outage. It took some help from of the Alaska Energy Authority to finally get the lights back on.

The lights went out in Tuluksak around 4pm Monday afternoon, when its only generator stopped running.

“The water pump overheated and stopped,” said Tuluksak’s Power Utility Manager Willie Phillip. He says the village received another generator engine just yesterday.

That engine came from the Alaska Energy Authority’s Emergency Response Program.

“And what we able to do is locate an engine for one of their generators to get it back online. We diverted one of our remote maintenance workers who was in the area. And we sent him over to Tuluksak,” said AEA’s Deputy Director for Rural Energy Sandra Moller.

She said the Emergency Response Program was implemented for emergencies just like this one.

Phillip said the village’s backup generators were non-functioning as well, so the new engine was vital.

“So we got it online about 2:00 a.m. or 2:30 a.m. or somewhere around there,” Phillip said.

He said the power wouldn’t have come back on without help from community volunteers helping to transport and install the new engine.

The AEA may be able to help villages like Tuluksak with yet another program “called the Rural Power Systems upgrade program,” Moller said.

“We’ve just completed a six or eight month process of evaluating all power plants in rural Alaska.”

In the future, Tuluksak and other rural villages in-need, may qualify for assistance through that program, pending legislative funding.

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Mark Arehart is a reporter with KYUK in Bethel.

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