Life Threatening Storm of Epic Magnitude to Slam Alaska

Evacuations were underway Tuesday along the western coast of Alaska as a once-in-a-generation storm bore down on the region, bringing destructive waves and hurricane-force winds says Fox News.

Beginning Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service (NWS) said the “life-threatening” storm was to bring winds as strong as 75 mph ¬†with 100 mph gusts — accompanied by coastal flooding and severe beach erosion — to Alaska’s western shores.

“This will be [an] extremely dangerous and life-threatening storm of an epic magnitude rarely experienced,” the Weather Service said in its bulletin.

Jeff Osiensky, NWS regional warning coordination meteorologist, told the Anchorage Daily News the storm was huge.

“It’s so big,” he said. “It covers 750 to 1,000 miles almost in breadth. These things get named hurricanes down south and get a category. It’s that magnitude.”

Residents of low-lying areas in Nome, a town of 3,500 on the southern Seward Peninsula, were ordered to evacuate while people in other villages such as Teller were also moved to higher ground Tuesday.

The storm, which was expected to reach Nome by late Tuesday, was expected to produce a 10-foot surge above normal levels and sea water could be pushed further inland by massive waves as high as 25 feet.

Nome resident Scott Johnson told the Fairbanks Daily News Miner that some businesses had closed early and boarded up windows, but the biggest concern was for Alaska Natives in the 18 villages in the region, where the brunt of the storm was supposed to hit.

“They’re going to get hit more and have less infrastructure than we do,” Johnson said.

Parts of western Alaska’s mainland likely will see blizzard conditions and up to 14 inches of snow as the storm rolls into the region, the weather service said.

Forecasters said this unusual storm could be historic for Alaska and could be worse than the 1974 Bering Sea storm that hit Nome with a 13-foot surge.

The NWS urged all boat operators to seek safety in port and advised residents to move small boats and personal property away from coastal areas where major flooding is expected.

The harsh weather was expected to last through Wednesday, with conditions forecast to improve Thursday.

Mad Mike’s America thanks Fox News for their contributions to this story.


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Posted by on November 9, 2011. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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