ITI has been cancelled in the middle of the race.
As the result of a large storm surge in the Norton Sound that
disrupted the sea ice and created flooding, combined with the closure
of most villages to outsiders due to COVID-19 concerns, all athletes
have been personally contacted and asked to shelter in place once they
reach a checkpoint.
The ITI team has been actively examining the safety of further travel
and will release further details as the investigation unfolds.
Storm Surge Impacts Trail Between Shaktoolik And Koyuk
Today’s investigation revealed that last night’s winter storm caused
water levels to surge 3 to 6 feet above the normal high tide line in
the Norton Sound, depending on location. Those surges created cracks
in the sea ice, pushed water on top of the ice through those cracks
and broke shorefast ice loose on the coast. As a result, all routes
over the Norton Bay from Shaktoolik to Koyuk are impassable due to
open water or overflow and no consistent overland trails between the
villages have been created this winter.
Toni Lund and Jussi Karjalainen, who were both brought back to
Shaktoolik last night by search and rescue personnel, were flown to
Unalakleet this afternoon to await flights back to Anchorage with the
other six athletes who have not yet crossed Norton Bay - George Adams,
Graham Muir, Roberto Gazzoli, Willy Mulonia, Asbjørn Bruun and Beat