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Alaskan Towns Low on Fuel as Ice Delays Delivery

Villages face shortage of heating oil
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Larry-Crehore
Posted Jan 10, 2012 4:55 PM CST
Alaska Faces Fuel Shortage As Bering Sea Ice Delays Delivery
The Coast Guard Cutter Healy crew steers its ship alongside the tanker Renda as they cut through the ice in the Bering Sea near Nome, Alaska.   (AP Photo/ U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley)

(Newser) – A harsh winter is taking a heavy toll on fuel supplies in Alaska. Two villages in the midst of 45-below temperatures have almost run out of heating oil, forcing a Noatak town store to ration borrowed supplies, the Anchorage Daily News reports. The village of Kobuk has turned to a city reserve tank. Meanwhile, locals with snowmobiles are selling wood for stoves to their neighbors. Both towns expect new shipments in the coming days.

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At the same time, a delivery of diesel and unleaded gasoline to Nome has been delayed by ice in the Bering Sea, notes a separate ADN story. "Really dynamic ice" has occasionally brought a Russian fuel tanker and Coast Guard ice cutter to a halt, says a Coast Guard rep. Still, "as long as we're making progress, we're going to Nome," he adds. The trouble follows an earlier delayed fuel delivery in the fall. (Read more Alaska stories.)

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