Newtok is not supposed to survive. Forces far stronger than the people who call it home are lining up against the town; winter storms grow more fierce each year and steal more of the coastline; summer meltwaters surge down the Ninglick river and erode the edges of the town; global warming, felt more keenly this far north, is melting the permafrost on which the town is built. This is the local story with global significance.
Three hundred and seventy five American citizens call Newtok their home, for now.
The first house is scheduled to fall into the river in the fall of 2018, if not before.
The plan is to abandon the town, and start again 9 miles up the river on higher, more solid ground.
The community is divided between those determined to stay, and those equally determined to move.
They are fighting the weather, the indifference of state agencies and now, finally, each other.