Valdez, United States

City and port on Prince William Sound, 370 mi S of Fairbanks, S Alaska. Named by the Spanish in 1790, it was established in 1898 as the debarkation point for prospectors bound for the Yukon gold fields. During World War II it was a military base and was devastated by an earthquake in 1964. It is the most northerly port in North America that is open all year.Today it is an important port for Alaska's oil industry and the southern term in use of the Trans-Alaska pipelinefrom Prudhoe Bay in the N. The Exxon Valdezstruck a reef S of here in 1989, spilling more than 10 million gallons of oil.