So, after years of planning and construction, families two weeks ago began arriving in the freshly minted village of Mertarvik, about 10 miles southeast on Nelson Island. Sign in to YouTube. “It’s pretty likely this riverbank in Akiak was lost because of thawing permafrost, given where it’s situated and the warm winter and spring they’ve had. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Thawing permafrost and erosion has increased flooding risks and caused the land around their homes to crumble and sink. The National Weather Service has cancelled a flood warning for Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall River after water levels started dropping on Monday morning. 1998 was the warmest to date, exceeded in 2016 and now 2016 exceeded in 2019. “Three of the homes actually had water flowing through…so three of them do have some water damage,” he said. An ice jam caused Willow Creek to flood late Saturday night, prompting at least 13 households in Willow to evacuate, Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials said in an alert Sunday. She expressed her thoughts in a poem, which reads in part: The unwanted feelings about moving grow stronger. International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Almost every building in town had some water damage. This should be the number one urgent conversation happening right now because it’s not just going to be Alaska, it’s going to be other communities all over the US,” Natali added. Of note, the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska was also severely flooded the third U.S. military base to be damaged by a billion-dollar disaster event over a 6-month period (Sept 2018-Feb 2019). Tornadoes up to EF-3 intensity with maximum winds of 140 mph tracked across a large section of highly developed northern Dallas. Indiana and Ohio were also affected by persistent heavy rainfall that flooded farmland, which prevented and reduced crop planting by millions of acres.” Cost $6.2 billion and four deaths. The biggest disasters of 2019 include eight severe storms, mainly in the South and Midwest, three big inland flooding events, two tropical cyclones that made landfall, and the wildfires in California and Alaska. During breaks in the high winds and heavy rains that lashed the Yukon Delta last week, 18 families made the move and began unpacking belongings in their newly built energy-efficient homes. Sufficient snow? High winds and some snow expected in the Anchorage area ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, Mysterious metal monolith found in otherworldly Utah desert. “If we were to get them out, then we’d have to deal with the animals, too,” he said. Assistance is being offered to those attempting to leave the area as well as those attempting to re-enter during daylight hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Very high water levels also disrupted barge traffic along the Mississippi River, which negatively impacted a variety of dependent industries. The breakneck speed of Alaska’s rising heat is having cascading consequences, with vanishing sea ice exposing coastal communities to storms, altered wildlife and … Alaska saw its hottest year on record in 2019, climate scientists said. “She left the driveway with the river chasing her,” he said. "It will be challenging, but this is a very strong community," says Gavin Dixon, a development manager with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium who is assisting Newtok residents with the move. He said flooding took out some of the mechanical equipment in the home and there’s likely still several feet of standing water in the crawl space beneath their house. © Alaska Public Media 2020. Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. This is the 3rd time past 21 years we can say" warmest spring of record". Sign up for email alerts and be the first to know when news breaks. This is not the first time this community has had to relocate. Vance said he’s thankful for help and support from nearby neighbors and the Willow community. H. R. McFarland, Ed. Alaska saw its hottest year on record in 2019, climate scientists said. Vanishing ice convulses Alaskans' way of life. ", Or, as Kasaiuli sees it, "Our story is unfolding to a better ending, even if we don't want to leave this place.". A water treatment plant will be finished in a few weeks and a new school will be up and running in November. Since then, as climate change has warmed the planet, it has started thawing the frozen ground that sits below the surface across 9 million square miles of the far north. Six homes were damaged by floodwater, and Mat-Su’s emergency services department advised nearby residents on Sunday afternoon they could be stuck for days if they didn’t leave soon. Many of the homes are farms with numerous animals, he said. Residents in one area of Douglas were advised to evacuate. As the frozen ground across the Arctic melts, it releases a huge amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Until then the Mertarvik-Newtok will operate from two locations separated by water. ▪ South and Southeast Severe Weather, May 2019: “Persistent severe storms impacted numerous states from Texas to North Carolina (TX, OK, KS, AR, LA, MS, AL, NC). The United States had 14 major weather disasters last year, with a toll of at least 44 dead and a price tag of $45 billion, according to federal officials. If we can get them their supplies out there, they’re on high ground and they’re safe, so they’ll be content.”. ▪ Arkansas River Flooding, May-June 2019: “Historic flooding impacts the Arkansas River Basin with damage to homes, agriculture, roads, bridges and levees focused across eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. The contiguous United States saw almost 35 inches of precipitation in 2019, almost five inches above average, the National Centers for Environmental Information reported. The declaration, released Monday evening, requests state assistance and a corresponding emergency declaration from the governor’s office. The BIA chose the site that is now Newtok. In 2020, North Carolina will still be trying to recover from 2016 and 2018 hurricanes, Enough rain? A 70-year-old came out of retirement to teach nursing. The largest storm total, 43.39 inches, was reported at North Fork Taylors Bayou, Texas. ▪ Missouri River and North Central Flooding, March 2019: “Historic Midwest flooding inundated millions of acres of agriculture, numerous cities and towns, and caused widespread damage to roads, bridges, levees, and dams. Play all Share. A 70-year-old came out of retirement to teach nursing. In July, Alaska saw record heat, scant rainfall and raging wildfires. Thousands of homes, cars and businesses were flooded due a combination of high rivers, levee failure and persistently heavy rainfall from May 20 through June.” Cost: $3 billion and five deaths. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough has issued a local disaster declaration in response to “severe threats” from ice jam flooding at Willow Creek. Help came from the many local agencies in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. Dorian tracked offshore parallel to the Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coastline before making a North Carolina landfall, bringing a destructive sound-side surge that inundated many coastal properties and isolated residents who did not evacuate.