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You might wonder about the stilts beneath this apartment building and many of the other buildings that you see here in Kotzebue. We don't have trouble with high water, as I first thought on my arrival in town. All of the stilts that you see below our buildings help keep them above ground. Warmth from heated structures thaws the permafrost beneath them, and over time, the buildings settle deep into the tundra. Larger builings might have steel tubes filled with antifreeze or with freon. Their tubes are driven deep into the permafrost to distribute the heat. Looking elsewhere, you might notice some older structures that have a decidedly sunken look..
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