Nov 24, 2010
A few days ago the Alaska Division of Community and Regional Affairs released its most recent report on the status of villages and their fuel supplies for the winter.
According to the report there are 341 villages that can not truck their fuel in for the winter. Since July 1 the division has made at least 884 attempts to contact villages and check on how each is doing in regards to winter fuel supplies. In the past this contact seems to have been one of the most difficult parts of task of checking on the fuel status of villages. This year ALL of the villages were reached.
It appears that all but a small handful of villages have either enough supplies or plans to continue to get fuel for the winter.
In a review of the report it was disturbing to learn of some villages that continue to have issues with their bulk/tank farms where fuel is stored. Given that the Denali Commission has been one of the most diligent funders of bulk fuel upgrades or replacements and is facing major cuts there has to be concern for these villages and their futures. This will continue to be an issue to watch.
One or two of the villages continue to have a difficult time getting deliveries due to low water levels. At least one major fuel supplier has invested in recent years to build low draft barges to address this but it looks still to be of some concern.
Overall it appears that the villages of Alaska are in better conditions than they have been the last few years. The full report is available here.