On Friday, September 16, 2022, many Western coastal villages were severely impacted by a massive storm that was formed from the remnants of Typhoon Merbok. In parts of this 1,000 mile coastal stretch, water levels rose to varying levels with the highest rise being 18 feet above the normal tide line. The highest winds experienced by communities were over 90 miles an hour.
Many coastal communities experienced flooding, significant erosion and in some of these communities, homes were knocked off their foundations and rendered uninhabitable. Many lost fish racks, smokehouses and fish camps; items that are so closely tied to the way of subsistence living and family traditions.
The Iditarod Trail Committee has been working with Race Partner, Northern Air Cargo, to assist in relief efforts. The Iditarod will be using sponsorship credits for flights normally used during The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to help the American Red Cross of Alaska transport much needed supplies to Bethel, Nome and many other communities affected by this storm.
It has been amazing to watch the true Alaskan spirit come out during this time, with so many individuals and organizations that have come to the aid of these communities. The ITC continues to be in communication with community members and other organizations to see what needs we can help meet.