Massive storm floods Alaska; disaster is declared

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy declared a state of disaster on Saturday as a powerful storm threatened huge swaths of the coastline, with major flooding already reported.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has declared a state of disaster Saturday as a powerful storm threatens huge swaths of the state’s western coastline.

Towns are facing strong winds and flooding, and bracing for possible power outages caused by a storm forecasters are calling one of the worst in the state’s recent history.

The storm systems continued to “produce a potentially historic and long-duration storm surge, and damaging high winds across southwestern and western Alaska,” the National Weather Service said Saturday.

The remnants of Typhoon Merbok are expected to bring moderate to heavy rainfall to the region until Sunday morning. On Saturday morning, a “very angry sea” brought storm surge into the community of Port of Nome, the Weather Service station in Fairbanks, Alaska tweeted. Wind gusts could reach hurricane strength in some areas, Weather Service forecasts say.

Significant coastal flooding is expected until Sunday morning, with the highest water levels Saturday afternoon, the Weather Service said.

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