Powerful storm strikes Alaska bringing historic surge: report

TEHRAN, Sep. 18 (MNA) – One of the strongest storms in at least a decade struck Alaska Saturday with hurricane force winds, high seas and rain that caused coastal flooding.

A low-pressure front in the Bering Straight was spinning as wide and strong as any winter storm, but instead of bringing cold weather, it was fed by the volatile air from the former Typhoon Merbok, forecasters said.

The result was 5 inches of rain along the coast south of Anchorage on Saturday, with a flood warning in effect for that coastline through 10 p.m., federal forecasters said.

The storm conditions, including wind gusts above 50 mph, were expected overnight for the state's Arctic and west coasts, prompting Gov. Mike Dunleavy to declare a disaster for affected areas.

The declaration included the opening of an emergency operations center. Dunleavy said Saturday no injuries were reported.

Charlie Brown, mayor of the tribal community of Golovin, said about 40 people have been displaced to higher ground as floodwaters inundated the lower half of the city, NBC News reported.

In Nome on Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service noted there had been “dangerous coastal flooding” and blamed "a very angry sea."

Flooding was also reported in Shaktoolik, a small city on the Bering Sea coast. Overnight, multiple gusts of greater than 75 mph, which would qualify them as hurricane-force, were recorded at Adak Island, part of the Aleutian Islands.

The extreme weather prompted Alaska Airlines to cancel its Saturday flights to Nome and Kotzebue as well as a morning flight to Bethel, it said in a statement.


News Code 191543


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