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Sun Sep 22, 2019, 05:08 AM

Marooned: Cordova braces for a winter without ferry service




There’s not much that happens at 4:30 a.m. in the coastal Alaska fishing town of Cordova in September, except at the ferry dock.

One morning last week, the car deck of the Aurora, the 235-foot Alaska state ferry, was brightly lit as pickups pulling huge trailers rolled aboard – fishermen bringing their families back to the road system at the end of the season.

Cordova has no roads in or out except for the ferry, which the state calls the Alaska Marine Highway System. Its ships typically run a few times each week throughout the winter, but not this year: Steep budget cuts made by the state Legislature and GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy mean that Cordova’s ferry service will end Friday. And it won’t start up again for at least seven months.

“It’s an exodus,” said a bleary-eyed Clay Koplin, Cordova’s mayor, who woke up at 4 a.m. to speak with a reporter before the Aurora’s departure. “People are trying to get out of here.”

Read more: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2019/09/16/marooned-cordova-braces-for-a-winter-without-ferry-service-2/

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