People of Selawik asked to conserve power after outage caused damage to water and power plant

Power outage on Feb. 14 caused damage to water and power plant in Selawik.
Power outage on Feb. 14 caused damage to water and power plant in Selawik.(KTUU)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 8:42 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - People in the village of Selawik are being asked to conserve power after a power outage almost two weeks ago.

Finding parts has proven to be a challenge for the village. According to Tanya Ballot, the village administrator, after trying to find parts in Alaska they are now looking at parts in Colorado.

While power has been restored, about 40% of people are still without water, Ballot said.

“People have dug holes in the river to be able to pack water to use for flushing their toilets or washing dishes or you know mopping their floors, to try and stay clean,” Ballot said. “You know we’re enduring this situation on top of a pandemic and so it’s been quite a challenge for most people in our community.”

Ballot said a lot of people are relying on donated bottled water and more is expected to arrive this week. The village of Selawik has around 220 homes, Ballot added.

On Tuesday, Ballot said the village was able to send off a water sample to Kotzebue to be tested. Once the water is cleared, community leaders will remove the boil order. But until then, the village is relying on donations and some are using a nearby water source to get water.

“I just want to thank all the folks who are contributing,” Ballot said. “We certainly need all the help we can get. Monetary contributions are welcome. The city and the tribe are working together and, you know, having a conversation and doing their part to work together and get through this.”

Donations can be made by calling 907-484-2165.

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