Dry weather prompts water worries

  • May. 21, 2004 1:00 p.m.

An 18-day stretch of good weather has burned away the Misty Isles fog this spring and made May feel like July, Heidi Bevington writes Friday May 21.
The month has been both drier and warmer than either last year or the year before, says weather-watcher John Davies of Tlell.
May is usually a pleasant month on the islands, says Mr. Davies. “If we have people coming, we usually say come in May,” he says.
In the first 21 days of May the islands have has 10.8 mm of rain compared to 83.4 mm in May 2002 and 79 mm in May 2003, says Mr. Davies. The high temperature for this May is 23 degrees. In May 2002 the high was 17 degrees and in May 2003 the high was 16.5 degrees.
In some parts of the islands, the warm weather is prompting water worries. Queen Charlotte has already posted water conservation guidelines. Water usage is up to 150,000 gallons per day, says maintenance supervisor Victor La Boucane. Normal consumption is between 120,000 and 130,000 gallons per day.
Skidegate has enough water to last six months with no rain since the village got its new water system, says band manager Babs Stevens.
Moresby Island management committee chair Gail Henry says she’s heard some homes on the east side of Sandspit are having problems already. It’s “very early in the year-that’s kind of an August thing,” she says.
At the north end of the islands, the dry weather is having no impact, says Village of Masset administrator Trevor Jarvis. Masset and Old Massett are supplied by two wells, says Mr. Jarvis. In the seven years he’s been village administrator, the villages have never had water shortages.
On Tow Hill Road, Charly Feller of the Alaska View Lodge says he has enough water so far, and he hasn’t heard of anyone else having shortages yet.
When the rains return-and they will- Mr. Davies predicts it will rain steadily. Last year, after a 16-day stretch of sun, he recorded 12 mm (half an inch) of rain for three consecutive days.

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