Awaiting river breakup on the Yukon

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The frozen Yukon River at Eagle in February 2020. Photo by Ned Rozell

Andy Bassich lives on the south bank of the Yukon River, about 12 miles downstream from Eagle, Alaska, the first community in America along the largest waterway in Alaska.

Like all of the few thousand people who live along the big river in Alaska, Bassich hopes that river ice formed by the cold air of winter will continue to disappear in a mushy fashion, one that does not cause flooding.

Speaking by phone in early May 2022, Bassich sounded optimistic that he might avoid the rapidly rising river water he has experienced in past springs.

“The cold nights we’ve

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