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Tue January 17, 2012
Fuel Is Flowing To Nome Through Half-Mile Hose Laid Over Ice
There's good news to report about the struggle to get much-needed gasoline and diesel fuel to the 3,500 people of Nome, Alaska:
"Crews on Monday afternoon began transferring 1.3 million gallons of fuel from a Russian fuel tanker" to the "iced-in" city, The Associated Press reports.
It's expected to take 36 to 48 hours to unload all the fuel, Ben Matheson tells for our Newscast desk. Without the delivery, he adds, Nome would have run out of fuel in March.
As we've been reporting, Nome missed out on what was supposed to be its last big delivery of fuel back in November because of an early-winter storm. Thanks to about two weeks' worth of help from a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker, though, the Russian tanker was able to get close enough to then run its hose across about a half mile of ice to the storage facility on land.
"At the beginning of the fueling operation, workers will be staged at every connector along the line to ensure there are no problems. Later, a two-man relay team will walk the line every 30 minutes until the transfer is complete."
This AP video offers a sense of just how cold — and difficult — the work is.