Hydaburg residents have running water again after days without

Hydaburg Totem Park. Hydaburg is located on the western side of Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska. (Photo via Flickr.)

Hydaburg residents have running water again after a snowstorm and freezing rain caused parts of the Southeast community’s water system to freeze last week.

“With the deep freeze, it resulted in colder temperatures than we’re usually used to down here and froze up our intake system on the dam and impoundment area,” Mayor Tony Christianson said last week.

Hydaburg’s roughly 350 residents were without water from Tuesday to Saturday. 

Across pockets of Alaska over the past week or so, residents have dealt with the impacts of extreme winter weather. In Fairbanks, snow and rain knocked out power for many last weekend. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough declared a disaster emergency Monday after being pummeled by high winds.

RELATED: Strong winds hammer Southcentral Alaska leaving thousands without power, closing Mat-Su schools

In Hydaburg, Christianson declared a state of emergency on Thursday, and the city distributed chlorinating filter systems and buckets to each home. 

Neighboring communities on Prince of Wales Island lent supplies and manpower. City water operators in Klawock, about 35 miles north, took spare parts to Hydaburg to assist with repairs. 

“The surrounding communities have water operators and spare parts that match some of our plants, so they sent down a few guys and parts, and heaters and other essential needs that we have to make sure we can thaw out buildings,” Christianson said.

Klawock also donated seven cases of water bottles. Annie Betty’s, a bakery in Craig, donated 16 large bottles. The Tlingit and Haida tribes also purchased water. Christianson said community support was essential as repairs continued into the new year.

“It wasn’t what we had planned for the holiday,” he said. “But thankfully we have a lot of people who are rested and putting their energy toward trying to remedy it.”

Klawock city administrator Anna Keene Guthrie posted on Facebook Saturday evening that the pipes had been fixed and water was flowing to the plant again. She estimated that water would be flowing back into households a few hours later.

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