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Three years ago, ten years ago

Ric shoveling

During winter 2011, general manager Ric Schmidt shovels out in the wake of a blizzard.

While Nome has experienced a relatively warm winter this year – with widespread melting and relatively little snow to speak of – winter in our region is, as you might expect, often the opposite.

Here are two examples.

In 2011, only three years ago, our snow cover – and our exposure to heavy winter storms – was abundant. As we wrote in our March 2011 newsletter, a series of blizzards, strong winds (with wind chills down to -70° F!), and heavy snowfall had battered our region, leaving general manager Ric Schmidt to help clear waist-high snow from the side of KNOM’s facilities (pictured). On one particularly stormy day, Ric and then-volunteer Matthew Smith faced 50-miles-per-hour winds to venture out to our AM transmitter site, a few miles outside Nome, to reactivate a failed heating unit, thus keeping our AM signal on the air.

Florence points at snow drift

High snow was the story, also, in our January 2004 Static, which reported snow drifts “as high as second-story windows” and showed a photo (above) of Florence Busch – then business manager, now a member of KNOM’s board of directors – examining a 7-foot drift near her house.

In May 2004, in the last throes of that year’s winter, Nome residents observed an ivu (EE-voo), an unusual buildup of massive chunks of ocean ice, some as large as pickup trucks, at the nearby seacoast. The fractured ice blocks, as seen in the photo below, created a 30-foot-high wall of ice.

Beholding the ivu (wall of ice)