The National Weather Service warned of “evil” seas in Alaska as Typhoon Merbok devastated the state with historic flooding along coastal communities.
The NWS said Saturday that the typhoon “continued to produce a potentially historic and prolonged storm surge and damaged high winds in southwestern and western Alaska.”
Governor Mike Dunleavy has since declared a state of emergency over the storm as hundreds have been relocated to shelters and the tide level in Nome reached more than 10 feet by midday.
Merbok is expected to bring heavy rains and high winds through Sunday morning, with the NWS saying it will take the sun three hours to set over the massive storm system.
Alaska’s west coast faces severe storm surges and historic flooding as Typhoon Merbok devastates the area. In the photo: two men walk through a flooded street in Nome
The National Weather Service said the storm was so severe it would take the sun about three hours to set
The town of Nome has received many flood warnings, with the NWS boats warning to stay moored amid a ‘very angry sea’
The town of Golovin fared no better as the streets flooded and the storm was expected to last until Sunday evening
Streets on the Bering Sea were quickly flooded as emergency services were called to service the areas
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a disaster but noted that no injuries or deaths were reported on Saturday
According to AccuWeather reports, Merbork brought gusts of 50 to 70 mph to the Alaskan coast, knocking down trees, damaging roofs and causing several power outages in cities in the region.
AccuWeather also warned of “life-threatening conditions” for fishing operations in Alaska and warned small boats to remain in port as sea levels rose and became unmanageable in Nome.
In the town of Hooper Bay, emerging flooding caused about 110 people to seek shelter in the local high school.
In a high school video posted to Facebook, Hooper Bay resident Judy Bunyon, 64, described the storm as the worst she’s ever seen since childhood.
Pictured: A house on the Snake River near Nome has been flooded and shaken from its foundation
The massive storm brought gusts of 50 to 70 mph to Alaska’s western cities on Saturday
The mini convention center in Nome, home to the finish line of the famous Iditarod sled dog race, is pictured flooded
The storm struck on Friday and continued into Saturday, with heavy rain expected in the state through Monday
The state’s Department of Transportation and Public Services has been monitoring the storm’s conditions and will assess the damage once the storm passes.
Jeremy Zidek, a spokesman for the state’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department, issued a similar statement, saying officials were particularly concerned about low-lying areas near the coast.
Zidek told the New York Times that the state faced unique challenges in dealing with the storm’s effects, as cities along the coast are few and far between, forcing the state to make tough decisions to prevent rescuers from being dispersed. .
“We really have to wait and see before we deploy the limited resources we have,” said Mr. Zidek. “Alaska is a different animal.”
Pictured: Flood water from the typhoon reaches houses in the town of Golovin . on Saturday morning
The NWS said some parts of the state have experienced the worst flooding in nearly 50 years, with the effects of Merbok expected to defeat the devastating 2011 Bering Sea superstorm, which caused $24 million in damage and killed one person.
Officials have said there are no reports of injuries until Saturday afternoon.
The storm is expected to subside by Monday, and parts of Fairbanks and Anchorage are forecast to have rain through Sunday evening.
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