Western part of Alaska causes massive flooding

The western part of Alaska causes massive flooding – Alaska (AP) (AP) an enormous storm sweeping north across the Bering Strait on Saturday has caused extensive flooding in several areas of western Alaska coastal communities that knocked out power, forcing residents to flee for higher levels of ground.

Forces of water pushed certain houses off their foundations, and a home in Nome was swept away by the river until it was caught on an overpass.

The storm’s potent force – the remnants of Typhoon Merbok is altering the weather pattern as far as California, where powerful storms and rare late summer rainstorms were anticipated.

Western part of Alaska causes massive flooding

In Alaska, no accidents or deaths were announced, said Jeremy Zidek, spokesperson for the Alaska Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Officials had warned that certain areas might experience the most severe flooding in 50 years, and the flood water could take as long as 14 hours to reced.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a disaster declaration in the course of the daytime.

Dunleavy said that the more than 1,600-mile (1,609-kilometer) hurricane front destroyed roads and could damage other infrastructures at a news conference on Saturday evening. Officials will look into any impact on sewer and water systems, seawalls, fuel storage areas, airports and ports.

Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives were already in Alaska before the storm hit, and Dunleavy said they would remain to assess the damages.

“Our goal is to get the assessments done as soon as possible,” the doctor declared. “We’re going to move as quickly as we can to provide relief, provide recovery, provide the essentials that people need.”

One of the hardest hit communities included Golovin, a village with around 170 residents who sought shelter in an elementary education centre or within three structures on the hill. Village winds were more than 60mph (95 kilometres per hour), and the water rose by 11 inches (3.3 meters) over the usual high tide mark.

It was forecast to rise an additional 2 inches (60 centimetres) on Saturday before the crest.

“Most of the lower part of the community is all flooded with structures and buildings inundated,” said Ed Plumb, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Fairbanks.

Clarabelle Lewis, the facility manager of The tribal administration, known as the Chignik Eskimo Community, was among those seeking safety on the hill which overlooks Golovin. They were riding out the storm from the tribal office after securing the items in their homes from the strong winds and assisting neighbours in caring for their homes.

“The winds were howling; it was noisy,” she said.

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The majority of communities saw winds that ranged between 41mph (66 kilometres per hour) to an average speed of 67 miles per hour (108 kph); however, Cape Romanzof had peak winds of 91 miles per hour (146 kph), according to the weather service stated.

Lewis has never been through an event like this in the 20 years he has lived in Golovin.

“We’ve had flooding in the past a few times, but it was never this severe,” she added. “We’ve never had homes moved from their foundations.”

There was also a report that there was flooding at Hooper Bay, St. Michael’s, Unalakleet and Shaktoolik, where the waves crashed onto the berm directly in front of the community, Plumb stated.

On the day of Hooper Bay, more than 250 people sheltered in the Hooper Bay school Bethel the public broadcaster KYUK said. Hooper Bay is among the biggest along the coast and has nearly 1,400 inhabitants.

The school’s vice principal, Brittany Taraba, said three houses were ripped off their foundations, and large areas of the town were inundated.

Residents collaborate by donating freshly caught and processed moose for those staying in the schools.

“It’s really amazing to watch this community,” Taraba said to KYUK.

Plumb stated that the storm would travel through his Bering Strait on the weekend and then turn towards the Chukchi Sea.

“And then it’s going to kind of park and weaken just west of Point Hope,” He described the community of the northwest coast of Alaska.

He predicted high water levels around the northwestern Bering Sea from Saturday night, and then classes will begin to fall off by Sunday. Higher water levels further north within areas such as the Chukchi Sea and Kotzebue Sound regions were anticipated to persist into Sunday.

For Northern California, wind gusts upwards of 40 miles per hour (64 kilometres per hour) were predicted for the night of Saturday and into Sunday morning on the coast that extends from Sonoma County down to Santa Cruz, as well as at higher altitudes at the Sierra Nevada, the weather service reported.

Strong winds can rip branches off and trees that are stressed by drought, causing power interruptions, according to weather service Ryan Walburn, meteorologist.

Storms were predicted to begin Sunday morning and bring as much as 3 inches (7.6 centimetres) of rain to the coastal regions of Sonoma County. A bit less as the rain moves toward the south towards southward to the San Francisco area and into the Santa Cruz mountains, Walbrun stated.

Sourceseattletimes

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