Icebreaker appears off Nome coast

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- The Coast Guard's only functioning icebreaker has arrived in Nome, the western Alaska city that couldn't get a barge delivery of fuel before ice set in for the winter.

It wasn't immediately clear if the icebreaker's visit to Nome was a scheduled stop or in response to the city's fuel situation.

The Healy appeared off the coast Thursday, as first reported by KTUU.

Coast Guard spokesman Lt. David Mosley says the ship is completing its last Arctic trip of 2011. It's scheduled to be back in Seattle shortly before Christmas.

However, there wasn't a fuel barge near Nome Thursday.

Since the barge couldn't deliver fuel to Nome before being iced-in, officials are considering flying fuel there. That could make gas prices as high as $9 a gallon this winter.