One Consequence Of Historic Alaska Storm? Skyrocketing Fuel Prices

Remember that historic Bering Sea storm we told you about earlier in the month? The one that caused flooding and building damage to the isolated town of Nome, Alaska?

Well there’s one more consequence that’s only now becoming apparent: The storm forced a barge bringing oil to the to town to cancel its final 2011 delivery. Now, the town is surrounded by ice and the only way to get oil into the city will be to fly it in.

The AP reports that means people in Nome could be looking at $9-a-gallon gas this winter.

The Alaska Dispatch reports this happened to another small Alaskan city in the past:

“In the spring of 2010, after a fuel barge couldn’t reach the Interior town of McGrath, the distributor was forced to fly fuel in. Those costly flights pushed prices at the pump from $5.97 to $8.50 a gallon.”

The AP gives us a bit of the scene from the town:

A lot of people in the old Gold Rush-era town, where bars are housed in Western-style false-front wooden buildings and where temperatures can plummet to 30 below zero, don’t own cars and rely on taxis to get around.

From one end of town to the other is about 5 miles, said Sunny Song, owner of Mr. Cab, which ferries children to school, nurses to their patients’ homes and women to hospitals to give birth.

Mr. Cab now charges $4 per fare. Song said a big rise in gasoline prices will put them out of business. “It is going to kill us,” she said.

But Polar Bar owner Patrick Krier isn’t worried. “People will still go out and have a few drinks,” he said. “That is inevitable.”

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