Large swaths of Alaska’s western coastline brace for high winds and flooding as a powerful storm threatens to become one of the worst in the state’s recent history.
Strongest storm in more than ten years moves into Bering Sea according to the National Weather Service.
Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected in the region until Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service, as the remnants of Typhoon Merbok move northeast through the Bering Strait. Wind gusts could reach hurricane-force winds in some areas, weather forecasts say.
Significant flooding along the coast is expected through Sunday morning with the highest water levels on Saturday, likely to lead to closed roads, flooded homes and businesses and shoreline erosion, the Weather Service said.
Sea levels are expected to be three to eight feet above normal high tide along the coast of the Bering Strait, according to the Weather Service. Nome, an Alaska town on the southern coast of the Seward Peninsula, will see water levels 8 to 11 feet above normal high tide, forecasters said.
‘STORM AT HISTORICAL LEVEL’:Alaska braces for floods, power outages
Peak levels can last for 10 to 14 hours before the water recedes, according to the Weather Service in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Likely gusts of 50 to 75 mph can also topple trees, damage roofs and buildings and lead to significant power outages, according to AccuWeather. The storm will also create “life-threatening conditions” for fishing activities, AccuWeather said, warning small boats to stay in port.
‘One of the strongest storms to ever hit the state,’ forecasters say
The storm’s impact could be greater than the 2011 Bering Sea Superstorm, one of the most powerful cyclones to ever hit Alaska. the National Weather Service in Fairbanks said:adding that some parts of the state could experience the worst coastal flooding in nearly 50 years.
AccuWeather called it “one of the strongest storms to ever hit the state of Alaska”.
Typhoon Merbok is expected to calm down later in the weekend as it drifts across the Arctic Circle, AccuWeather said, adding that most of the storm’s impact will be concentrated in western and northern Alaska.
Other parts of the state, including Fairbanks and Anchorage, could see some rain from Sunday night through Monday, AccuWeather predicts.
TROPICAL STORM FIONA SHAPES:Storm on the way to Puerto Rico
Tropical Storm Fiona hits Puerto Rico
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Fiona is expected to pour up to 16 inches of rain on parts of Puerto Rico on Saturday, threatening severe flooding, landslides and power outages.
The storm is expected to turn into a hurricane as it approaches Puerto Rico just after ravaging the eastern Caribbean islands. One death was reported Saturday in Guadeloupe, a French area in the southern Caribbean Sea.
Puerto Rican authorities have opened shelters and closed public beaches, theaters and museums, and urged people to stay indoors.
Contributions: The The Bharat Express News