Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy declared a state of disaster on Saturday as a powerful storm threatens large swaths of the state’s west coast.
Cities are facing high winds and flooding, and preparing for possible power outages from a storm that forecasters are calling one of the worst in recent state history.
Storm systems continued “to produce potentially historic, long-lasting storm surge and damaging high winds in southwest and western Alaska,” the National Weather Service said Saturday.
The remnants of Typhoon Merbok are expected to bring moderate to heavy rainfall to the region through Sunday morning. On Saturday morning, ‘very angry seas’ brought storm surge to the community of Port of Nome, the weather service station in Fairbanks, Alaska tweeted. Wind gusts could reach hurricane force in some areas, according to weather service forecasts.
Significant coastal flooding is expected through Sunday morning, with the highest water levels Saturday afternoon, the weather service said.
Photos on Saturday showed roads in Golovin, Alaska, were covered in floodwater and the tide reached homes, causing a few homes to float off their foundations, the Fairbanks Weather Service Station said. in Alaska. Golovin, Alaska is a small town about 70 miles east of Nome.
‘HISTORICAL LEVEL STORM’:Alaska braces for floods and power outages
Probable gusts of wind of 50 to 75 mph can also topple trees, damage roofs and buildings, and cause major power outages, according to AccuWeather. The storm will also create “life-threatening conditions” for fishing operations, AccuWeather said, warning small boats to stay in port.
No injuries were reported Saturday afternoon, Dunleavy said on Twitter.
‘One of the strongest storms to ever hit the state,’ forecasters say
The storm’s impacts could surpass the 2011 Bering Sea Superstorm, one of the most powerful cyclones on record in Alaska, the Fairbanks National Weather Service saidadding that parts of the state could experience their worst coastal flooding in nearly 50 years.
AccuWeather called it “one of the strongest storms to ever hit the state of Alaska.”
The storm is expected to calm down later in the weekend as it drifts through the Arctic Circle, AccuWeather said, adding that most of the impacts from the storm will be concentrated in western and northern Alaska. .
Other parts of the state, including Fairbanks and Anchorage, could see rain Sunday night through Monday, according to AccuWeather forecasts.
FORMS OF TROPICAL STORM FIONA:The storm heads for Puerto Rico
Tropical Storm Fiona will hit Puerto Rico
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Fiona is expected to dump up to 16 inches of rain over parts of Puerto Rico on Saturday, threatening severe flooding, landslides and power outages.
The storm is expected to become a hurricane as it approaches Puerto Rico, just after hitting the eastern Caribbean islands. A death was reported on Saturday in Guadeloupe, a French territory in the southern Caribbean Sea.
Puerto Rican authorities have opened shelters and closed public beaches, theaters and museums, urging people to stay indoors.
Contributor: The Associated Press
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