Very Little Ice Wed. Evening – NOAA Web Site Link

As of 6:45 PM on May 2nd there is very little ice passing Napaimute.  However, there is still plenty of ice upriver.  There is a substantial jam several miles below Sleetmute that is backing water up and causing some flooding on the roads.

The water here at Napaimute has risen about an inch an hour since noon.

You can see from the following River Watch map (http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/) where the ice still is as of 4:00 PM this afternoon.  Note that Sleetmute is designated with a Flood Warning and Red Devil with a Flood Watch.

Ice conditions as of 4:00 PM May 2nd

 

Here’s what the river is doing at Napaimute as of 7:00 PM on May 2nd.

 

Looking downstream from Napaimute

 

Looking upstream

Little Ice As Of 2:30 PM On Wednesday, May 2nd

Things are still calm – there’s only a little ice passing by.  The water has risen a couple inches since this morning.  There is still a substantial jam between Red Devil and Sleetmute.

 

Looking upstream from Napaimute

 

And looking downstream

Kuskokwim at Napaimute At 8:00 AM Wednesday May 2nd

Very little ice floating by and the water has dropped.  No wind and temperature about 30 degrees.

The word is that there is still a fair amount of ice upstream and jammed up near Red Devil.

 

Nice and calm with little ice. The water has dropped been dropping.

 

The remnants left behind...so far.

River Conditions At Napaimute As Of 11:00 PM Tuesday Evening May1

At about 10:00 PM on Tuesday a fair amount of ice came through, but it only lasted an hour and the water was dropping as it went by.

The River Watch folks say there is still a good amount of ice upriver waiting to come down still.

 

The last push of ice at 10:00 PM

 

Looking upstream at 10:00 PM

 

What was left behind

 

Safe for another year...maybe?

 

Tonight's moon

Some Ice Now Coming Down Past Napaimute

No sooner did I hit the publish key on that last post when I looked up and low and behold here came some ice.

It appears that a minor jam broke lose and we had ice passing for almost an hour (5:45 pm).  It’s now diminished, but the water did come up almost a foot in the past two hours.

First substantial ice all day.

Kuskokwim Still Ice-Free at Napaimute

As of 5:30 p.m. the river is still ice-free – although word is that there is a jam located between Sleetmute and Red Devil; so more ice is on the way.  The water level has dropped about three feet since this morning.

 

It’s been cold and windy all day, with the wind coming from the west.  The sun is finally showing itself!

 

This is what the river has looked like all day - but it won't last once the jam upriver breaks

GCI Cell Service Comes to Napaimute

GCI Technician Installing Cell Equipment on the Tower at the Community Building

After weeks of delays due to the extended deep cold our region experienced this winter, the weather moderated and GCI technicians were able to install cell service in Napaimute on February 21st.

This system is the first of its kind in our region. The cell signal comes in through the small GCI dish we already have for our regular phones and Internet.

The cell signal is then broadcast through a special antennae from the tower we put up two years ago.

At this time, the range is limited to the original village site as far down as the airport, upstream to Avakumoff’s fish camp, and the foothills south of the River, but we are very thankful for this service.

It is very nice to be able to make and recieve calls from right in your own house or from any of the Tribe’s buildings.

Thank you GCI!

The Harvester Is Up And Running

2012 FIREWOOD HARVEST UPDATE:

After returning from the training in Washington, I (Mark Leary) spent an additional three days in Anchorage purchasing and shipping additional supplies for the project.

This included things like food, steel for the log skids, parts, and assorted oils, grease, etc. needed for our equipment.

The start-up expenses for this project have been great. A lot of it was anticipated, but some of it wasn’t like the several thousand in spare parts for the harvester that we purchased in Washington following the recommendation given at the training. We’ve also been getting a hard lesson in the cost of shipping freight to Rural Alaska. Fuel surcharges are higher than ever. The lowest I could find was 29%. So for every dollar we spent shipping freight, we pay an additional $0.29 in fuel surcharges!

The week of March 12 we all came back to Napaimute to do preparations for the harvest. Our first priority was to transport over 9,000 pounds of freight from Aniak to Napaimute. Besides all of the things I personally shipped from Anchorage, there were items that had been previously ordered. This included things like: tire chains for our equipment, steel banding, oxygen & acetylene for our cutting torch, batteries and a port-a-potty.

Moving harvesting freight by snow machine

We intended to move all of this freight by truck – the cheapest and easiest way – but the snow is so deep this year – it would take a plowed road on the River so we spent time measuring  the ice and marking  the route for plowing.  We tried plowing the road, but first the grader broke down. Luckily it broke down right here at Napaimute and not way down the River somewhere.

Then we started to plow a simple one lane road with our little dozer. The dozer made it down to just above Anita’s (about 12 miles) before it broke down too.  We have since fixed it and brought it back to Napaimute, but each break down is another expense.

After all of this trouble we ended up hauling the freight by snow machine and sled. The whole crew went down and got most of it in one trip. I went back a couple of days later and moved the last 3,500 lbs in one load. It was hard on the snow machine but it got done.

3,500 lb. load - the little pallet in front of Job Johnny is 2,500 lbs of steel banding

With all of the supplies in Napaimute we could now work on getting ready to do the harvest. One of our crew was dedicated to hauling additional fuel from Aniak – 100 gallons a day by snow machine. We burned up a lot of our fuel plowing out everything around here: the runway, the road on the beach, etc. and starting to realize that this wood harvest was going to take longer than planned, we needed additional fuel.

Plowing the runway

After breaking for the week end, our crew went back to work on March 19th. I was in Bethel intending to return on the 20th (the trip to Bethel is too long to just stay for 2 nights). The guys called on the afternoon of the 19th to report that trying to work was just a waste of Napaimute’s money. It was minus 30 in the morning. They were spending all their time just warming up equipment and trying to get it started. We decided it would be best to hold off and everybody returned home. It turned out to be a good decision as the rest of the week was even colder.

One of the many preparations: putting on the chains

Sawmilling 6,000' of dunnage

 

The weather finally broke and we hit the ground running during the week of March 26th. There was a lot to do so work went on from 9AM to 9PM, with me cooking. Preparations that week included:

  • Finish putting tire chains on loaders and truck
  • Sawmilling dunnage for the log bundles (we need 6,000 lineal feet)
  • Many little repairs/maintenances of the equipment
  • Welding the skids to modify them for hauling logs
  • Prepping the harvester for work after sitting all winter
  • Loading up all of the necessary support supplies and equipment for the move down to the harvest site.
  • Moving it all down there

Moving down to the harvest site was a major job in itself.  Between the deep snow and a couple of break downs (more expense) it took us the better part of two days to move everything and set up the camp.

 

2012 Native Village of Napaimute Annual Meeting Rescheduled:

Parting gifts for retiring Council Members Stan Kelly & Bobby Kristovich at the 2011 NVN Annual Meeting

At their April 25th regular meeting, the Napaimute Traditional Council decided to reschedule and relocate the 2012 NVN Annual Meeting.

This year’s meeting will be held in October in Anchorage.

The Council felt that with the increasingly high travel expense to Rural Alaska, a meeting in October in Anchorage would be more conducive to increasing tribal member attendance. A firm date has not been set yet, but they are thinking it would be good to hold the meeting during AFN week.

Administration will also be working to include an electronic component so that those members unable to attend in person, can still do so via the Internet.

Updates will be sent as plans for the 2012 NVN Meeting are solidified.

Thank you.

Kuskokwim Relatively Ice-Free As of 6:00 AM May 1

The water level rose a little during the night then receded taking most of the ice with it.  Come Tuesday morning the only ice around was mostly on the north shoreline.

 

However, there is still plenty of ice upriver that will be working its way downstream during the next week…so anything can happen.  We’ll keep  you posted.

 

Looking downriver from the Chapel at about 8:30 am

If you look closely you can see a thin strip of ice stretching from bank to bank - but beyond that is open water

Looking upstream of Napaimute at 8:30 am Tuesday morning May1