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NEW AGAIN – Amy Rowe-Danielson arranges a display at the Sitka Sound Science Center's newly opened Mill Building on Lincoln Street this afternoon. The reconstructed 1940 building houses Ludvig's Chowder Cart, which opened today for the first time this season to a steady line of socially distancing customers. It also houses the center's gift shop which, like many businesses in town, offers online ordering and free local delivery. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Autumn Rainfall Relieves Drought Conditions in SE

    JUNEAU (AP) — A warm, wet autumn has helped relieve a long period of drought in Southeast Alaska, scientists said.
    Heavy rainfall pushed the region over its annual average by 13 inches (33 centimeters), The Juneau Empire reported Monday.
    There has been a dramatic increase in precipitation in the past two months, U.S. Department of Agriculture climate meteorologist Brad Rippey said.
    November has been a particularly good month for rainfall in Southeast Alaska due to conditions at sea that have caused precipitation, Rippey said.
    “The water across most of the northern Pacific has turned very warm in recent months,” Rippey said. “It’s been lashing southeastern Alaska with some pretty good storms.”
    Some places received 20 to 40 inches (51 to 102 centimeters) of rain in the last 30 days, which removed the drought designation for many areas outside Juneau, he said.
    “For Alaska, one of the big things is hydroelectric power generation,” Rippey said.
    The Juneau region experienced a rainfall deficit of more than 30 inches (76 centimeters) in recent years and another wet season may be required to restore balance, Alaska Electric Light & Power engineer Bryan Farrell said.
    Precipitation will need to fall as rain and refill reservoirs rather than as snow that accumulates above the frost line, which will not replenish the region’s lakes, Farrell said.
    “It’s really going to be a function of precipitation and temperature,” Farrell said.
    Alaska Electric Light & Power will decide whether to restore power to interruptible customers on a month-by-month basis, but has not yet made that decision, Farrell said.
    Interruptible power sales help reduce costs for other customers, the utility said.

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Alaska COVID-19
At a Glance

(updated 5-29-20)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 10:20 a.m. Friday.

New cases as of Thursday: 5

Total statewide – 430

The state says the cumulative number of cases hospitalized is 47, and the cumulative number of deaths is 10.

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

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Welcome to the Sitka Sentinel's web page. In order to make the Sentinel's news more easily available during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken down the paywall to access articles on this page. Just click on an article headline to read the story. 

March 23, 2020

NOTICE FROM THE PUBLISHERS

TO READERS AND ADVERTISERS

For the duration of the COVID-19 disaster emergency declared by federal, state and local authorities, the Sentinel is taking additional measures to reduce virus exposure to its employees and contractors as well as to the public, while continuing to publish a daily news report for Sitka.

To the extent possible, Sentinel news and sales staff will be working from home. For the protection of our carriers, home delivery of the newspaper will be stopped effective Tuesday, March 24.

The Sentinel will continue to publish on its website sitkasentinel.com. Access to the website will be free to all users. The Sentinel will also produce a print edition Monday through Friday. It will be available to all readers without charge, at locations throughout town.

Initially, these locations are those where the Sentinel's newspaper vending machines are already in place. The coin mechanisms will be disabled or the doors removed to permit easy access. The Sentinel will work with the stores where the paper is usually sold, to designate a place inside or outside the store where the free edition can be made available.  

Home delivery subscriptions are on hold, and after the end of the disaster emergency, subscriptions will be extended at no charge for the number of days that there was no home delivery.

The Sentinel will make its print edition available to the public as early in the day as possible. with all personnel taking precautions to prevent spread of the virus.

The Sentinel is calling upon its customers to observe the COVID-19 emergency precautions already in place, particularly in maintaining a six-foot social distance from others at newspaper distribution sites.

Following is the statement issued by the Sentinel on March 16, stating the Sentinel's emergency procedures, which remain in effect.

The Sentinel office at 112 Barracks Street is closed to the public. We encourage people to use the phone, email or the U.S. Postal Service as much as possible.There is a slot in the front door of the office for ads, news items and payment checks. Emails may be sent to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the phone number is (907) 747-3219.                                                                          

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