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Help a small town


Hey all, if you missed it, my town of around 1,500 winter residents made national news. Record rains, landslides and missing people. Entire roads washed away, including paved roads in neighborhoods.

Just one article: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/02/us/alaska-landslide-six-missing/index.html

The two missing people include our only kindergarten teacher, a local girl that came back to teach. We have about 15 homes totally gone, or are uninhabitable due to slides or flooding, and we have heavy rain agin today, and is forecast to continue and get worse tomorrow. Slides still happening.

I have been helping clear roads, including working on three slides across the highway the last few days. I had been calling for fuel from town as my pup tank was empty- the supplier is over capacity for their trucking keeping the in town emergency workers fueled right now, and more equipment arrived on the ferry yesterday afternoon.

This is after our largest industry- tourism- was almost totally gone due to Covid all summer. The border closed, keeping road traffic form coming, and our commercial fishermen had one of the worst seasons in decades due to low fish numbers.

My request: fellow pilots, as you are getting your flight planing charts out, please think about coming and visiting our town this year. We have a 4,000' paved airport, (and you can find pictures of the ramp flooded from this week, but the runway remained clear), with 100LL and Jet-A. With a little notice I can have covered space set up for you there-rough but covered.

There is also my place: 9AA9, 1,200' gravel 15 miles up river. I should be able to fit a plane or two under cover here also.

If you have ever considered going on a Help-Ski trip, maybe look into coming up this winter and go skiing- it is world class!

Help our community by coming to visit. Rent a hotel room, order food, visit the various sights. Rent or borrow a car and look around- spend a little money that will help our businesses.

Our community pulls together in times of need, we will get through. It does help when we have a light at the end of the tunnel. Seeing an uptick of reservations, or knowing people are coming to visit will give our community hope, and when you arrive I imagine you will find many welcoming smiles.

Thank you all for your support.

George, AKTangled in mud, Campbell
We have been talking about a fly out your way for years. I will try to make it happen this year! June should be best for weather correct?
We have been talking about a fly out your way for years. I will try to make it happen this year! June should be best for weather correct?

June is best weather, but fishing improves as the year progresses. We get some great weather in August.

Let me know, I could get some fuel at Airkat, and have some good bush spots for you to hang out. Depending on your capabilities and river depth, our cabins are available for a dry place to hang in the bush.
Im planning a trip early August. Timeframe is flexible; Thinking later in the summer offers more open gravel/sand bars. For sure will see you buddy!
I will try to bring a crew with wife/girlfriends to help spend money so in town hotel would be great also. DENNY
I plan to come up again in late March with some buddies, I'll look up your town and would love to explore more of AK. We had a great time in 2019 but bummed we had to miss 2020 due to Covid lockdowns. Does anyone know if it's possible to fly up from the lower 48 with the Canadian border issues?
aktango, do you know what the situation is like trying to drive down there from Interior Alaska? Will the Canadians let us go through?
Sub3 & nanook, I try to keep http://Fly2AK.com up to date with personal customs experiences as folks relay them to me. Best I’ve heard is that several folks call ahead (which you of course have to do anyway) to the local customs office at their chosen crossing point and inquire directly with the officers there. Having said that, upon landing (or driving) whether they let you cross or not is apparently up to the discretion of the individual officer that meets you. Canada has been extending the border closure month by month, currently thru Dec 21.
Nanook, Right now we have Yukon and Alaska folks working hard at getting things open for our disaster.

Now, on the other side, we are out of space to hold more people right now. We have search and rescue in town standing by, but the slide areas are not stable, so no-one is allowed to search.

We have evacuated about 50 families into hotels and vacant apartments, but last night just before 10 they put the 'prepare to evacuate' notice to about half the downtown area, the most populated section.

Expecting heavy rains today, on top of a foot of snow yesterday afternoon. I don't even want to drive to town for fear I wlll be caught in or between slides. Major roads are open, and they are repairing the smaller ones right now. Some repairs are on hold due to instability.

When the ground dries and becomes stable, there will be lots of work to be one. At that point I believe we will be able to issue "essential' paperwork to anyone coming with a mission to help.

Thank you for all the kind thoughts. I am listening to the water drip off our roof.
I'm sure (like many things) the most effective help is donating $$$ to the local efforts.

That being said, in addition to any donations, it's always easy for us to spend a fair amount on a long weekend or similar "we haven't been to _____ for quite a while" trip.

When would it be practical to come visit for a few days? (being older and without much in the way of practical skills :))...need any contracts drafted or negotiated?), it would be strictly a tourist visit, but wife and I are long past tired of being stuck in Los Anchorage).