Galena, Alaska

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Galena
Notaalee Denh
Galena following a flood
Galena following a flood
Galena is located in Alaska
Galena
Galena
Location in Alaska
Coordinates: 64°44′26″N 156°53′8″W / 64.74056°N 156.88556°W / 64.74056; -156.88556Coordinates: 64°44′26″N 156°53′8″W / 64.74056°N 156.88556°W / 64.74056; -156.88556
CountryUnited States
StateAlaska
Census AreaYukon-Koyukuk
IncorporatedOctober 26, 1971[1]
Government
 • MayorJon Korta[2]
 • State senatorDonald Olson (D)
 • State rep.Neal Foster (D)
Area
 • Total24.09 sq mi (62.40 km2)
 • Land17.72 sq mi (45.90 km2)
 • Water6.37 sq mi (16.50 km2)
Elevation
128 ft (39 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total470
 • Estimate 
(2016)
488
 • Density20.26/sq mi (7.82/km2)
Time zoneUTC-9 (Alaska (AKST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-8 (AKDT)
ZIP code
99741
Area code907
FIPS code02-27530
Websitehttp://www.ci.galena.ak.us/

Galena is a small village in Alaska with a population of 500+ people. Galena is located on the Yukon River about 270 miles west of Fairbanks Alaska by plane and 350 miles north of Anchorage, AK. During the summertime, the only way to get to Galena is by plane, boat, or barge, and during winter, the only ways in are by plane, snow-machine, dogsled, or other all-terrain vehicles. Galena has only two stores that get their materials in only by barge or plane. The two store names are Sweetsirs and Alaska Commercial Company.

History[change | change source]

Galena was established in 1918 as a trading station and became an Air Force base on July 1, 1943, until 1993. After the military retired from the old Air force base, the townspeople turned the building and facilities into a boarding school. The retired Air force base was put into new ownership of the school in September 2008. Galena's community school was named after an Athabascan elder who is famous throughout all of Alaska who also served on the board of fish and wildlife for a total of 9 years. It is also the home of two schools called Galena Interior Learning Academy (GILA) and the Sidney C. Huntington School.

Iditarod[change | change source]

Galena is also one of the checkpoints for the famous Iditarod sled dog race but the trail changes its route every other year. Like the Iditarod, Galena is also another checkpoint for another race called the Iron Dog Race which is an off-road snow-machine race that takes place over 2,600 miles across Alaska.

Climate[change | change source]

During the summer Galena can have temperatures of 90 above and in the winter the temperatures of minus 40 below zero with a record of negative 64 below freezing. In May 2013 Galena had a massive flood event that most of the buildings in the village had significant flood damage, and many were flooded by at least seven feet of water. On June 25, 2013, President Barack Obama issued a Major Disaster Declaration for the village. The people of Galena continue to clean up and rebuild to this day. The total cost for repairs was over three and a half million but, a FEMA grant was given to reimburse only 75% of the repairs and the State of Alaska Disaster Relief Fund would cover the remaining costs to rebuild. The flood was caused by an ice jam in the Yukon during the break-up season. Which caused the water underneath to come pouring out from the sides spilling into the village.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1996 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory. Juneau: Alaska Municipal League/Alaska Department of Community and Regional Affairs. January 1996. p. 58.
  2. 2015 Alaska Municipal Officials Directory. Juneau: Alaska Municipal League. 2015. p. 64.
  3. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 22, 2017.