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Power outages threaten subsistence harvests

BETHEL (AP) — An ongoing power outage in the community of Tuluksak in western Alaska has caused some residents to lose their summer subsistence harvest.

The lack of electricity in the community on the lower Kuskokwim River means freezers storing the salmon harvests are largely not functioning, KYUK-AM reported Friday.

Resident Angela Alexie said power has been out           for about a week, and it was also out for a week in       July.

Some homes in Tuluksak have installed generators to adapt to the frequent multi-day outages. Alexie said she got a generator about two years ago after losing her fall and winter subsistence catch to an outage, but it can only power a few small appliances and not her freezer.

"I had to take some of my fish out and take it over to my parents' freezer before I lost everything," Alexie said.

Alexie has lost about a quarter of her subsistence fish, which is shared among her parents and sisters. Alexie is hoping for a strong silver salmon run to help replace the lost catch, but the August weather is not expected to be as favorable as it was during the earlier harvest.

The Tuluksak Native Community operates the power plant and expects repair parts to reach Alaska this week.

"Here and there, there's more generators every year in the village," Alexie said.