2nd Class City
in the Nome Census Area
- Area Type
- Current Population
- Population Comment
- 2013 DCCED Certified Estimate
- Pronunciation/Other Names
- (die' oh meed); a.k.a. Inalik
- Census Designated Place (CDP)
- Borough/Census Area FIPS Code
- Place FIPS
Election, Recording, and Judicial Districts
- Senate District
- House District
- Judicial District
Facilities and Amenities
- Municipal Facilities & Utilities
- Watering Point, Washeteria, Electric, Health Clinic, Dock, Heliport ( State Contract), Volunteer Fire, Search & Rescue, Community Center, Bingo, Roads, Ice Roads
Geography and Climate
- Diomede is located on the west coast of Little Diomede Island in the Bering Straits, 135 miles northwest of Nome. It is only 2.5 miles from Big Diomede Island, Russia, and the international boundary lies between the two islands.
- Summer temperatures average 40 to 50 °F. Winter temperatures average from -10 to 6 °F. Annual precipitation averages 10 inches, and annual snowfall averages 30 inches. During summer months, cloudy skies and fog prevail. Winds blow consistently from the north, averaging 15 knots, with gusts of 60 to 80 mph. The Bering Strait is generally frozen between mid-December and mid-June.
- Community Map Available
- Map URL
- Sq Mi Land
- Sq Mi Water
History and Culture
- Early Eskimos on the islands worked on the ice and sea and had a culture with elaborate whale hunting ceremonies. They traded with both continents. The islands were named in 1728 by Vitus Bering in honor of Saint Diomede. The 1880 Census counted 40 people, all Ingalikmiut Eskimos, in the village of "Inalet." When the Iron Curtain was formed, Big Diomede became a Soviet military base, and all Native residents were moved to mainland Russia. During World War II, Little Diomede residents who strayed into Soviet waters were taken captive. The city was incorporated in 1970. Some residents are interested in relocating the village, due to the rocky slopes, harsh storms, lack of useable land for housing construction, and inability to construct a water/sewer system, landfill, or airport.
- Diomede is a traditional Ingalikmiut Eskimo village with a subsistence lifestyle. Seal, polar bear, blue crab, and whale meat are the preferred foods. Mainland Natives come to Diomede to hunt polar bears. Seal and walrus hides are used to make parkas, hats, mukluks, furs, and skins for trade.
- Federally Recognized Tribe
- Name of Federally Recognized Tribe
- Native Village of Diomede
- Local Option Restrictions
- Ban sale and importation of alcohol.
- Incorporation Type
- 2nd Class City
- Public Education
- Not permitted to provide this service.
- Planning, Platting and Land Use Regulation
- Not required to exercise the powers in any circumstance, but may be permitted in all cases in the manner described for first class cities.
- Property Tax Powers
- May tax up to 20 mills, except where a higher levy is required to avoid default. Voter approval required.
- Sales Tax Powers
- No limit on the rate of levy of sales taxes; however, voter approval is required.
- Other Powers Not Prohibited
- May exercise other powers not prohibited by law.
- City Council or Assembly Composition and Apportionment
- 7 members elected at-large, except the council may provide for election other than at-large.
- Election and Term of Mayor
- Elected from the city council for a 1-year term, unless a longer term is provided by ordinance. Mayor selected by council (or by voters upon adoption of ordinance).
- Vote by Mayor
- Votes on all matters.
- Veto Power of the Mayor
- Does not have veto power.
- Power of Eminent Domain
- Permitted, but requires voter approval.
- Ability to Attain Home-Rule Status
- May not adopt home-rule charter without first reclassifying to a first-class city.
- Due to constant winds from the north, accessibility by air to Little Diomede is often limited. A state-owned heliport allows for weekly mail delivery. In 2012, Diomede was awarded grant funds to participate in the Essential Air Services program. Weekly flights by helicopter are available year round, weather permitting. There is no airstrip due to the steep slopes and rocky terrain, so ski planes must land on an ice strip in winter. Regular flights are scheduled from Nome, weather permitting. Skin boats are still a popular method of sea travel to cover the 28 miles to Wales. Cargo barge stops are irregular, due to sea or ice conditions, but deliver at least annually. There are plans to construct a breakwater and small boat harbor to allow for more regular sea travel between the Mainland and Diomede. Cargo Barge stops are irregular due to sea or ice conditions, but deliver at least annually. Transportation on Little Diomede is primarily by foot on a system of boardwalks and trails. The boardwalks are owned by the city, though are maintained by the IRA through Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) funding. A project to reconstruct 1.5 miles of boardwalks was completed during the summer of 2005.
- State Ferry
- Cargo Barge
- Road Connection