By Associated Press - Thursday, May 6, 2021

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - A southwest Alaska village that lost its water plant in a fire will be without its temporary water treatment plant during river breakup.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. installed a temporary water treatment system for Tuluksak in March that pipes water from the Tuluksak River, but the system cannot withstand ice floes released during breakup, KYUK Public Media r eported.

Plans call for reinstalling the system once the river ice is gone. Until then, Tuluksak can store water in large tanks.

The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management this week said it was providing 10 pallets of water, weighing nearly 11,000 pounds, that would be stored at the school. The agency said Tuluksak also has designated the school as a shelter location, if needed, for any flooding during the spring river breakup.

The agency said it would continue providing drinking water to help Tuluksak “until an interim water treatment plant can be delivered and installed.”

KYUK reported this is the first time the state has purchased bottled water for the community since the January fire. In February, the state paid for the shipment of bottled water that was privately donated.

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