Alaskan village moves two buildings to avoid river erosion

The Alaskan village of Napakiak moved two government buildings threatened by accelerated river erosion. (KRYSTI SHALLENBERGER / KYUK)
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The Alaskan village of Napakiak moved two government buildings threatened by accelerated river erosion. The community is 15 miles southwest of Bethel.

This has become somewhat of a routine for the community of Napakiak, as city council member Walter Nelson reports. The community has been dealing with erosion for some time but is now at more risk to more territory lost to the river.

The city garage and firehouse had to be moved 200- feet from their original locations to avoid the encroaching Kuskokwim River. This move was funded by the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service according to officials.

The Kuskokwim River continues to claim more of the communities land as it is beginning to near the community school. Nelson estimates that Napakiak has lost about 20 feet of land to the riverbank since May.