FAIRBANKS—Power outages always seem to bring people together in outlying areas.
In the Anderson/Clear area, power went out at midnight Wednesday and had not returned by mid-afternoon Thursday.
Anderson School hooked up to a generator and opened its doors to the community as a safe shelter.
“We had coffee on all day,” said Kay Hockin, longtime Anderson resident and school supporter.
Local residents made use of the warm building all day, she said. School was in session as usual. Schools in the Denali Borough School District never close due to inclement weather.
The long power outage surprised longtime residents like Hockin.
“It’s been years and years since I’ve seen this happen,” she said.
Earlier Thursday morning, neighbors in the Clear area all gravitated to the Clear Sky Lodge, after a night without power. Surely someone there would have found a way to heat water and make coffee.
Indeed, one of the local residents brought along a portable wood-fueled water heater, Mary Beth Michaels said.
“One of our neighbors had a fancy little thing that uses a very small amount of wood, there is a chimney up the middle, water is all around it and it heats up in three or four minutes, so we made several cups of coffee,” she said. “He did it right on the grill.”
Meanwhile, the bartender brought in his own kerosene lamp for light.
Citronella candles, used to deter mosquitoes, were still on the tables and people lit those for light too, Michaels said.
About a dozen people spent the morning there, enjoying each other’s company.
“Everybody was in there just having fun chatting and talking,” she said. “Everyone who lives pretty close came over. It’s a real good neighborhood to live in.”
Everyone just assumed the power would turn back on shortly. By mid-day that wasn’t so clear.
So Clear Sky Lodge hooked up to its generator and residents started getting their own generators going as well.
According to Michaels, her house is well insulated, but her husband, Sid, worked on getting the generator going in case temperatures dropped overnight.
“If we don’t get the generator going, it might get a little cold in here,” she said.
Contact staff writer and columnist Kris Capps at 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMkris.