Y2K causes few problems in Alaska

Posted: Sunday, January 02, 2000

ANCHORAGE - Low temperatures caused more problems than the Y2K bug in Alaska.

Extreme cold weather hit several villages around the Interior.

At Kaltag, where temperatures were 55 degrees below zero, the community's heating fuel jelled. The sewage system at Noatak in Alaska's Northwest froze. And Port Heiden on the Alaska Peninsula was having trouble with its snow removal equipment.

But the Y2K bug had no bite.

Representatives from 18 state and federal agencies monitoring the Y2K situation at the State Emergency Coordination Center at the National Guard Armory at Fort Richardson found few problems.

News of the extreme weather came as state officials called about 300 villages to find out if they were affected by Y2K and needed help.

``We want to make sure they have a warm place to be,'' said Maj. Mike Haller, a spokesman for the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

The Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. reported a few problems with hand-held data entry devices, but its 800-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline came through Y2K unscathed.

Coast Guard officials were prepared to help ships with computer-driven steering systems, but ended up answering calls about partiers lighting red emergency flares to celebrate New Year's Eve, said Lt. Kevin Dunn in Juneau.

``All went smoothly,'' Dunn said. ``Everything is fine.''

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