National Weather Service warns of a ‘very angry sea’ as Typhoon Merbok thrashes Alaska with historic swells and flooding in coastal communities: Governor declares state of emergency over storm so wide the sun will take THREE HOURS to set on it
- Alaska’s west coast faces heavy storm surges and historic flooding as typhoon Merbok devastates the area
- Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a state of disaster, but noted that no injuries or deaths were reported so far
- Tide levels reached more than 10 feet in Nome, which saw heavy flooding, and 110 residents in the coastal city of Hooper Bay were forced to take shelter in the high school
- State officials warned that because the coastal cities are few and far apart, they will have to take stock of the damages in each location before sending out help to avoid scattering emergency personnel
The National Weather Service warned of ‘angry’ seas in Alaska as typhoon Merbok devastates the state with historic flooding along coastal communities.
The NWS said Saturday that the typhoon has continued to ‘produce a potentially historic and long-duration storm surge, and damaging high winds across southwestern and western Alaska.’
Gov. Mike Dunleavy has since declared a state of disaster over the storm as hundreds have been moved to shelters and the tide level in Nome reached more than 10 feet by the afternoon.
Merbok is expected to bring heavy rainfall and high winds until Sunday morning, with the NWS stating that it will take the sun three hours to set over the massive storm system.
Alaska’s west coast faces heavy storm surges and historic flooding as typhoon Merbok devastates the area. Pictured: Two men walking through a flooded street in Nome
The National Weather Service said the storm was so massive it would take the sun about three hours to set over it
The city of Nome received many flood warnings, with the NWS warning boats to stay docked amid a ‘very angry sea’
The city of Golovin fared no better as streets became inundated, with the storm expected to last until Sunday night
Streets bordering the Bering Sea quickly became flooded as emergency personnel were called to service the areas
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a state of disaster, but noted that no injuries or deaths were reported as of Saturday
According to AccuWeather reports, Merbork brough wind gusts of 50 to 70 mph to the Alaskan coastline, toppling trees, damaging roofs and causing several power outages throughout towns in the region.
AccuWeather also warned of ‘life-threatening conditions’ for fishing operations in Alaska, warning small boats to stay in port as sea levels rose and grew unruly in Nome.
In the town Hooper Bay, rising flood waters caused about 110 people to take shelter in the local high school.
In a video from the high school posted on Facebook, Hooper Bay resident Judy Bunyon, 64, described the storm as the worst she’s ever seen since her childhood days.
Pictured: A home by the Snake River near Nome is flooded and rocked off its foundation
The massive storm has brought wind gusts of 50 to 70 mph to the western cities of Alaska 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 carried into Saturday, with heavy rains expected in the state until Monday
The State’s Department of Transportation and Public Facilities have been monitoring the conditions of the storm and will assess the damages once the storm passes.
Jeremy Zidek, a spokesman for the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, issued a similar statement and said officials were mostly worried about low-lying zones near the coast.
Zidek told the New York Times that the state faced unique challenges in battling the storm’s effects as cities along the coast are few and spaced out miles apart, leaving the state to make difficult decisions to avoid having emergency personnel scattered.
‘We really have to take a wait-and-see approach before we deploy the limited resources that we have,’ Mr. Zidek said. ‘Alaska is a different animal.’
Pictured: Flood waters from the typhoon reaching the homes in the city of Golovin on Saturday morning
The NWS said some parts of the state were experiencing the worst flooding in almost 50 years, with the impacts of Merbok expected to beat out the devastating 2011 Bering Seas Superstorm, which caused $24 million in damages and killed one person.
Officials have said there have been no reports of injuries yet as of Saturday afternoon.
The storm is expected to subside by Monday, with parts of Fairbanks and Anchorage forecasted to see rain into Sunday night.