Bering Sea Storm Pummels Alaska

Nov 9, 2011, 11:44 by R.E. Christian

One of the worst Bering Sea storms on record pounded Alaska Wednesday with high winds, blizzard conditions and coastal flooding, officials said.

The Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News said evacuations were ordered for many coastal communities Tuesday as the dangerous storm, described by weather officials as being of "record or near-record" magnitude rolled across the Bering Sea.

The National Weather Service said the Bering Strait, Seward Peninsula, Norton Sound and Yukon Delta areas were expected to take the brunt of the storm, which was expected to peak in Nome Wednesday evening.

"The wind will push large amounts of water into Norton Sound, raising sea levels seven to nine feet above normal," the weather service said in an advisory. "Over the Bering Strait coast and St. Lawrence Island, sustained winds are expected to reach 75 mph with gusts of 90 to 100 mph."

Bryan Fisher of the Alaska Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said emergency officials received reports that water has reached low-lying homes in Tununuk, Kwigillingok and Kipnuk, and that water levels were rising at the Yukon River Delta community of Scammon Bay, the Alaska Dispatch reported

Intermittent power outages were reported in Nome and the Yukon-Kuskokwim villages of Hooper Bay and Tununuk.

CNN said The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center reports the storm is generating waves as high as 40 feet in the Bering Sea.

Source: UPI