Most winters bring news of a particularly bad Alaskan deep freeze, but this year's is so harsh that residents running out of fuel are burning their stuff because it's too cold to even go outside and get wood. A Russian tanker trying to deliver diesel and gasoline to Nome got hung up on thick sea ice and won't get there until Thursday or Friday, and in villages nearby it's too cold and snowy for planes to land with heating oil. This stuff is endlessly fascinating to those of us living below the arctic circle, where the worst winter storms result in streets left unplowed for days. Days! "My husband and I are using our fish rack woods to heat up our home because it's so cold to go out and get wood," a woman named Hilda Booth, of the inuit village of Noatak (where the low's hovering around -45 degrees), told the Anchorage Daily News. Can you imagine if you had to burn your Ikea coffee table to keep warm? What would you even burn it in? The natural gas-powered "fireplace" you'd like to someday install in your apartment? There's a reason the Discovery channel folks wrap all those Alaska shows sometime around November.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.