In Alaska: Nome Waits For Fuel; Cordova Digs Out From 18-Feet Of Snow

Winter continues to wallop Alaska with some weather and some challenges that even the seen-it-all locals seem to be amazed about.

In Cordova, about 150 miles southeast of Anchorage, “dozens of National Guard troops have arrived to help … dig out from massive snows that have collapsed roofs, trapped some people in homes, and triggered avalanches,” The Associated Press reports.

Guard officials tell the AP there’s been about 18 feet of snow in Cordova so far this season. The National Weather Service warns that another storm is headed Cordova’s way on Tuesday.

But already, “there’s nowhere to go with the snow because it’s piled up so high,” Wendy Rainney, who owns the Orca Adventure Lodge in Cordova, tells the AP.

Fortunately, according to Alaska Dispatch, “the city had recently received supplies, the grocery store was open, though schools were scheduled to be closed Monday. No injuries had been reported due to the snow.

“I’m not aware of any issues with supplies. The only thing we’re really lacking is — there’s not a snow shovel left in town,” Allen Marquette, public information officer with the city of Cordova told Alaska Dispatch. About 2,000 people live in Cordova year-round, the AP says.

Meanwhile, far to the west the 3,500 people of Nome are hopeful that by Wednesday a Russian tanker bringing 1.3 million gallons of much needed fuel will have reached them. It’s following the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy.

The Healy, by the way, is posting some pretty amazing photos here.

As Eyder reported back in November, some brutal early winter weather had forced the cancellation of what was going to be the last fuel shipment of the season to Nome. It was feared that any additional fuel would have to be flown in, which would send already high fuel prices in Nome into the stratosphere. But it looks like the Healy will be able to save the day. If the ships make it, this will be the first such wintertime sea delivery to a western Alaska community.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.