Huge swaths of Alaska’s west coast are facing strong winds and flooding like a strong storm threatens to become one of the worst in the state’s recent history.
“The strongest storm in over a decade is moving into the Bering Sea” The National Weather Service said Thursday as the storm approaches.
The remnants of Cyclone Merbok are forecast to bring moderate to heavy rainfall to the area through Sunday morning. On Saturday morning, a “robust sea” brought storm surge into the community of Port Nome, the Weather Service station in Fairbanks, Alaska. tweeted. Weather Service forecasts say gusts could reach hurricane strength in some areas.
Substantial coastal flooding expected through Sunday morning, with highest water levels on Saturday afternoonWeather Service said.
On Saturday, photos showed roads in Golovin, Alaska, covered with floodwaters and tides flooding homes, causing a few homes to drift off their foundations, the Weather Service station in Fairbanks, Alaska said. Golovin, Alaska is a small town about 70 miles east of Nome.
‘Historical STORM’:Alaska struggles against floods, power outages
Strong gusts of 50 to 75 mph can also topple trees, damage roofs and buildings, and lead to significant power outages, according to AccuWeather. According to AccuWeather, the storm will also create “life-threatening conditions” for fishing operations, and warn small boats to stay in port.
‘One of the strongest storms ever to hit the state,’ forecasters say
The storm’s impact could exceed 2011’s Bering Sea Superstorm, one of the strongest hurricanes affecting Alaska on record, According to the National Weather Service in Fairbanksadded that some areas of the state could experience the worst coastal flooding in nearly 50 years.
AccuWeather calls it “One of the strongest storms ever to make landfall state of Alaska. “
According to AccuWeather, the storm is expected to calm down over the weekend as it moves through the Arctic Circle, adding that most of the storm’s impacts will be concentrated in western and northern Alaska.
Other parts of the state, including Fairbanks and Anchorage, are likely to see rain Sunday night through Monday, according to AccuWeather’s forecast.
TYPES OF FIONAL STORM FIONA:Storm heading for Puerto Rico
Tropical Storm Fiona makes landfall in Puerto Rico
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Fiona Up to 16 inches of rain is expected over parts of Puerto Rico on Saturday, threatening severe flooding, landslides and power outages.
The storm is forecast to become a hurricane as it approaches Puerto Rico, shortly after hitting the eastern Caribbean islands. One death was reported Saturday in Guadeloupe, a French territory in the southern Caribbean Sea.
Puerto Rican authorities have opened shelters and closed public beaches, theaters and museums, urging people to stay indoors.
Contribution: Associated Press