Residents evacuated, flooding reported as major storm hits coastal town in Alaska

A massive, potentially record-breaking storm brought severe flooding and damage to coastal towns in Alaska on Saturday, with some residents evacuating. Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he was “verbally announcing” a disaster for storm-affected communities.

The storm’s center was moving toward the Bering Strait Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

On Alaska’s west coast, towns such as Nome, Hooper’s Bay, Skaktolik, Kotlik and Noonan-Ikwa were all hit hard by the storm, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF).

The governor tweeted that no injuries were reported as of Saturday morning. “We will continue to monitor the storm and update as many Alaskans as possible,” he said. tweet. A press conference is scheduled for Saturday at 7:30 pm local time.

The state has also established an emergency operations center.

Rep.Mary Pertola too tweet On Saturday afternoon, Alaskans were asked to “please stay safe and seek shelter. We must all take care of each other and keep each other safe. We’ll get through this, but stay safe.”

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Floods hit Golovan, Alaska on Saturday, September 9. January 17, 2022.

Heidi Varga

According to the National Weather Service, the town of Golovan reported heavy flooding early Saturday, with forecasters warning that conditions will only get worse. By the end of the day, the town could see an extra 1 to 2 feet of water. According to ADOT&PF, the old Golovin airfield is underwater.

“There was water around the school, houses and buildings were flooded, at least a few houses were raised from their foundations and some old fuel tanks were tipped,” the Fairbanks Bureau of Meteorology office said. tweet.

photo via weather service Shows the high water level there.

Wales — the westernmost town in Alaska and the United States, along the Bering Strait coast — is flooding in “low-lying areas,” the weather service reported.

“Water levels will peak at high tide this afternoon, before gradually decreasing over Sunday,” the weather service said on Twitter.

Another town, Shaktoolik, reported coastal flooding, with water “entering the community and close to some homes,” according to reports. weather service. Residents there were evacuated to schools and clinics. Shaktoolik is also expected to see the worst of the storm later in the day.

according to weather servicethe water level in Nome rose to more than 10 feet on Saturday and is expected to continue to rise.

This weather service Footage from the Unalakleet webcam was also shared, comparing an average day in town to a Saturday morning scene.

Large swathes of the state’s west coast were under coastal flooding and strong wind warnings as of Saturday afternoon. The weather service said flood warnings were in place for several areas until Sunday night, while gale warnings were expected to expire Saturday night.

The Yukon-Cusco-Kwim Delta will see “minor surges” during high tide Saturday afternoon and evening, the weather service said.

“Highest water levels expected from north of Kipnuk to Newtok” NWS tweeted. The coastal flood warning for the area was extended until 10 p.m. Saturday.

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A massive storm hit Gamber, Alaska. September 16, 2022.

Clarence Irigo Jr.

The rest of the state is under high wind warnings, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

This weather service As of 8 a.m. local time, a total of peak wind gusts were reported – the highest recorded was 91 mph at Cape Romantsov. Winds reached 60 mph in several other towns, including Golovin.

The storm is a remnant of Typhoon Merbok, and Forecasters predict this week It could bring “potentially historic” flooding, with water levels 11 feet above normal high tides in some coastal areas.

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