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Thread: Wind storm at Nome, Alaska

  1. #1
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Wind storm at Nome, Alaska

    Is there anyone in Nome or areas around Nome that would like to share with us what happened during the very unusual wind and surf storm? I know it more or less took out all the watering holes and of course closed main street where the dog teams run through.
    Did it get inland far enough to get to the airport?

  2. #2
    Crash's Avatar
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    Forget the rest of Nome, anyone know if the Board of Trade made it through the storm OK? Crash

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    Ursa Major's Avatar
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    I don't know about the Board of Trade, but I hear that Fat Freddies is open after mopping out the basement. Since they are only a block or two down Front street from the B of T I expect that they managed to survive. If the storm surge had got in as far as the airport - there would be nothing left of Nome.
    Mike

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    The important news from Nome...in yesterday's ADN

    Board of Trade Saloon owner Jim West Jr. reported three feet of water in his basement and a couple of windows knocked out, either by winds, waves or flying driftwood.

    "Nothing that can't be taken care of," he said, as he and employees swabbed out the bar and prepared to reopen.

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    I was in Anchorage for most of the storm, while my poor 14 was tied up in Nome. I made quite a few phone calls, and my buddies kept a good eye on it.

    I finally made my wife appreciate the severity when I explained what a 65 mph wind could do to an airplane with a 45 mph stall speed. All this going on in addition to my beloved Red Sox staging the greatest comeback in baseball history (concurrent with the Yankees managing to pull off the greatest choke in baseball history).

    All my buddies were unable to go to work that day. Funny how they were able to make it to front street to attend the liquor store. Only half of them were pilots though

    Anyway, the BOT is going to be fine. I was there last Thursday and frankly, it could use a good washing out

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    I was glad to read in the ADN that the bars, more or less, made it through the storm since they are quite close to the shore. When I was assigned to our Nome operation for one month as relief station manager, I spent many an hour at the Board of Trade after our last flight out for the day.

    Speaking of the watering holes of Nome, how many are aware that the noted gunfighter and lawman, Wyatt Earp, once owned a saloon in Nome during the gold rush days there?
    Gold dust was used as currency back in those days. Seems Wyatt had the floor covered with sawdust and would clean it up once a week to get the gold that was dropped on the floor. It is rummered he made more money off the floor than what he made from the drinks. Suppose the girls were told to spill as much gold as possible?

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    Ursa Major's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaAV

    Speaking of the watering holes of Nome, how many are aware that the noted gunfighter and lawman, Wyatt Earp, once owned a saloon in Nome during the gold rush days there?
    At about the same time as Wyatt owned the 2nd class Saloon, Jimmy Doolittle (who later bombed Tokyo) delivered the local newspaper as a paper boy. Lots of interesting characters lived (and still do) in Nome.
    Mike

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursa Major
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaAV

    Speaking of the watering holes of Nome, how many are aware that the noted gunfighter and lawman, Wyatt Earp, once owned a saloon in Nome during the gold rush days there?
    At about the same time as Wyatt owned the 2nd class Saloon, Jimmy Doolittle (who later bombed Tokyo) delivered the local newspaper as a paper boy. Lots of interesting characters lived (and still do) in Nome.
    Thanks Mike. Now that you mention Jimmy, I do remember him being there but not about the newspapers. At the same time Wyatt was in Nome, a future Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court was a local judge there. Name slips my meager mind though.
    And talk about interesting characters, without question, Blueberry John, was the best image taken home by the tourests that visted Nome.

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    RedEye's Avatar
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    storm

    How did the fokes north of Nome in Brevig Mission fair ??? I've got some family there. Any one been up that way since the storm ??

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    Nome Storm

    All of the GA aircraft at City Field come through unscathed. There was more action there than I have seen all year. All the bars with the exception of the Breakers have been back in operation. We had peak gust
    of 67 mph on Monday. I didn't get a report for Tuesday. T. Parsons

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    KelvinG's Avatar
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    When I lived in Nome in the late 80's I enjoyed going to Wyatt Earp's bar. I've heard it burned down. Anyone know if that is true?


    Kelvin

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Re: Nome Storm

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Parsons
    All of the GA aircraft at City Field come through unscathed. There was more action there than I have seen all year. All the bars with the exception of the Breakers have been back in operation. We had peak gust
    of 67 mph on Monday. I didn't get a report for Tuesday. T. Parsons
    The breakers is in the hotel, right? If so, there was sure a lot of glass on the beach side and suspect lots of driftwood flying around.

  13. #13
    Cub Kid's Avatar
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    Re: Nome Storm

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Parsons
    All of the GA aircraft at City Field come through unscathed. There was more action there than I have seen all year. All the bars with the exception of the Breakers have been back in operation. We had peak gust
    of 67 mph on Monday. I didn't get a report for Tuesday. T. Parsons
    Whats up Tony,

    Glad everyone made it through OK. We brought down some D9s to block the wind on the 206 and tied it to a couple of trucks in addition to the regular tie downs.

    In answer to the question on Brevig, I hear they did ok (rumors only). The wind was south east, so it wouldn't enter Grantley Harbor as bad as with a south west. I heard Teller (accross the harbor) had some damage, but not REALLY bad.

    Bill

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    It is great to hear no real damage done in the wind storm around the Nome area.

    In a post long ago, I mentioned about going through such a storm at Point Barrow and Barrow, Alaska. Winds were about the same. Our runway at the Point Barrow Air Force Station, which supported POW Main radar site, (OK guys from POW Main, you can have at me again so go to it) was taken out. The wind driven surf and huge ice chunks, sometimes 20 foot high, came clear over the runway and literally took out the old PSP runway surface. PSP is the metal sheets that were used to build runways in WW II on the island in the Pacific as well as the Aleutian chain of Alaska. Everyone at the Air Force Station were evacuated to the POW Main radar site except for 4 of us who tried to keep things going and it worked. We were able to keep the power plant running although most of the distribution had been shut down. We ate lots of sandwiches and bottled water for sure. By the way, that storm is how I met my wonder wife who just happened to be on the other end of a teletype system. Guess you might say the storm caused another storm later on.
    Having gone through the storm at Point Barrow, I wonder what Nome would be like today had ice cakes 6 foot thick by say 20 foot by 20 foot with 65 mph winds behind them moving them around. Good bye Breakers, Board of Trade and Fat Freddie's. Oh yes, are there other business in Nome on the beach? In the town of Barrow, the ice and surf covered half of the town (which POW Main never worried about), took out two 25,000 gal diesel fuel storage tanks and soaked the entire town with fuel. Talk about fire hazard. We set up a system immediately to send over our fire equipment, most all of which were track drive, if needed. Barrow had nothing, least of all water. I suspect had that happened at Nome and with what I remember of the town 30 years ago, the wind, ice and surf would have taken out many of the light aircraft at the airport as I remember it. When good old Bill Munz used to come over to our place at Dahl Creek for happy hour, we would talk about his life with Munz Airlines and his life in Nome. What a guy.

    Anyway, it seems no matter where a person lives world wide, there will always be Mother Nature and God to answer to and we make do with what we are given.

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    OK guys and gals from Nome or the west coast of Alaska. From the number of readers that have checked out your wind storm here, you have to know people from all over the world want to know more about your town and it's history. To expand on this thread, how about you guys coming up with more interesting history of the outstanding town of Nome and the surrounding areas. Gold, gold discovered and the sailing ships that anchored a mile off shore in the 1900s. How many have came close to coming into contact with the bluff just north of town in a foggy condition while trying for a special VFR approach to either airport.
    My suggestion is that it does not have to include anything aviation related at all. Any history of the lend lease project would be appreciated. How about the history of the Army Air Corp Base just north of town?

    I will change the subject title if you guys would like to become world wide sources of information. Might be fun and interesting for all of us.

    Any comments readers?

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    Nome Storm

    Ernie and everyone else,
    Gold mining is still going strong here, several small operations and one large one. A friend last summer got a forty+ ounce nugget with a small suction dredge. Several people still work the beach placers and do quite well. As to the questions on the lend lease and the base the Carrie M. McLain Museum (907) 443- 6630 has a great amount of photos and information. I will ask if there is a web site and post it if it is available. There ARE LOTS of neat places to fly to, Hot Springs, Mining camps active and abandoned, and of course fishing holes. Nome has character and interesting history, not real eyecatching, but good people and the country kind of grows on you.
    As to the bluff you mentioned, flying in low fog around big rocks is bad for my health. T. Parsons

  17. #17
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Re: Nome Storm

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Parsons
    Ernie and everyone else,
    Gold mining is still going strong here, several small operations and one large one. A friend last summer got a forty+ ounce nugget with a small suction dredge. Several people still work the beach placers and do quite well. As to the questions on the lend lease and the base the Carrie M. McClain Museum (907) 443- 6630 has a great amount of photos and information. I will ask if there is a web site and post it if it is available. There ARE LOTS of neat places to fly to, Hot Springs, Mining camps active and abandoned, and of course fishing holes. Nome has character and interesting history, not real eye, but good people and the country kind of grows on you.
    As to the bluff you mentioned, flying in low fog around big rocks is bad for my health. T. Parsons
    Knowing that bluff, I am still rolling on the flour laughing from your last comment. What a great way to say it but how true you are. Kind of like Franklin Bluff on the North Slope that an unnamed air carrier dropped a
    C-130 on while trying to land and broke it's back. Story elsewhere.

    Did you ever run into a Bob Strange, passably a VP for a dredge operation? He used to work for us at Prudhoe Bay with Wien.

    Is the road open again east of town? I understood a bridge was lost. What ever happened to that Model T truck at one mining operation east of town before the road? As I recall, it looked new, the air was still in the tires and it cranked up on first try with new gas poured in the carb. So much history east of town. So much history all over the Nome area that most people never hear about and from the number of readers to this thread , they might be interested. Pass my request for info on to the Chamber of Commerce. After all, if you post it, it will go world wide here.
    I try to read the Nome Nugget as often as I can.

    I remember when I relieved Dale for his vacation from Wien for a month, I really had a good time. I lived upstairs over the terminal at the hanger but spent my time on front street. My good friend, Blueberry John, took me down to the beach to his special area to pan for gold. I probably got more gold in a couple of hours of panning than Wien paid me for all day. I just loved Wien and aviation more I guess. Of course the Blonde in the Breakers got to me too.

    Thanks for the info, I for one appreciate the information. That info from the museum might really be great here if they have a web site. If not, maybe you could send me anything, I can upload it into the gallery and pass it on in this or another thread. Feel free to give them my address.

    By the way, is that huge icky red color 4 wheel suction dredge still working off shore? Twelve foot high flotation tires?

    Ernie

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