Storm Impact

Storm Impact
Posted on 09/19/2022
Storm damage in Newtok

Superintendent Hankins Update on On-going Storm Impacts & Recovery

LKSD is very concerned with the impact of the storm on our communities that experienced flooding, damage from high winds, and coastal erosion.


During the storm, the District made schools available in six communities to serve as emergency evacuation centers. This included Newtok, Kipnuk, Nightmute, Kwig, Kwethluk, and Tununak. 

Many schools partnered with local tribes to ensure community member safety, working together to provide shelter throughout the storm until people were able to return to their homes. 



Newtok school in particular, sheltered between 60-70 people at one point. Folks from the community returned home yesterday. Electricity came back on Sunday afternoon to a portion of the village that experienced an outage. 

An initial assessment was completed in Newtok yesterday and there is no visible damage to LKSD buildings and none of the school district buildings in Newtok flooded. We will perform a more in-depth inspection in the coming days. 


Newtok did experience significant erosion during the storm. Prior to the storm, the District’s water treatment plant, which is the closest district building to the shore, was approximately 70 feet from the shoreline. Following the storm, that distance is estimated at 34 feet, so we lost approximately 35 feet during the storm. 


Initial estimates now place the school at approximately 30 yards from the shore. 



The community of Napakiak experienced substantial flooding as a result of the storm. Staff were partly relocated from teacher housing to the school as flood waters were so high that it was essentially at their front door during high tide Saturday morning. Luckily, the units did not sustain significant damage and did not flood on the interior. A portion of the boardwalk that connects the teacher housing units in Napakiak flooded, and that sits about five feet above ground. 

storm damage in Napakiak sept 2022


The Site Administrator in Napakiak was able to send me photos taken late yesterday and there is significant erosion along the bank. She is estimating that the school now sits about 75 feet from the river. 


After an initial assessment, it appears that there is damage to the structure that carries pipes to the school. Some of the boards along the bottom of the school came off during the storm, the new stairs on the end of the school closest to the river need to be secured and re-leveled, and there is a lot of debris around the school and teacher housing, such as large logs, pallets, barrels, etc. 


Moving Forward

Thorough damage assessments for all of our schools is a top priority for the next few days. 

We know that there was flooding in multiple communities, including Napaskiak, Oscarville, Napakiak, and Kwig – so inspecting damage from high water and the winds is important.


Overall, I’m glad to report that there were no injuries and folks remained safe during the storm. 

LKSD staff, board and administrators are working to assist families in need. We have families and communities impacted close to our hearts. Thank you for working together to help one another during this challenging time. 

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