North Slope Borough mayor stuck in New York

Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- North Slope Borough Mayor George Ahmaogak and several borough employees would have been sitting across the street from the World Trade Center when terrorists attacked on Tuesday, if not for some lost luggage.

Ahmaogak spoke Wednesday from his Waldorf Astoria hotel room. He said he and the borough employees had meetings scheduled with bond rating agencies in an office adjacent to the World Trade Center on Tuesday morning.

''If we hadn't been late because our luggage was lost, we would have been right in the middle of it,'' Ahmaogak said.

He said the group learned of the first jet strike as they headed for a hotel limousine and passed televisions surrounded by people. Attending the meeting was no longer an option.

''Everything came to a screeching halt,'' he said.

Ahmaogak and his wife, Maggie, had planned to travel to Washington, D.C., after their New York stop. The mayor said he had expected to meet with members of Congress to push for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and for the proposed natural gas pipeline.

A meeting also was planned with Bush administration officials in charge of marine mammal management.

Ahmaogak said he and his wife now just want to get home.

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