preparing Bering sea storm

A storm forecast to be one of the worst on record in Alaska is lashing lashed the state's western coastline, tearing roofs off buildings and pushing water and debris into communities, authorities said.
Bering sea storm
The storm, which began hitting Alaska late on Tuesday after building over the North Pacific Ocean, brought winds measured at up to 89 miles (143 km) per hour and flooded parts of some Native villages along the coastline.
Bering sea storm
'This is a storm of epic proportions, as it's being described,' said Jeff Osiensky, a meteorologist and regional warning coordinator for the National Weather Service. There, the storm tossed debris onto roads, making driving dangerous, city officials reported. Nome, with 3,600 residents, is one of the largest cities in western Alaska. Western Alaska was reeling Wednesday from what the National Weather Service called an "epic" Arctic storm from the Bering Sea that blasted remote coastal towns with winds of up to 89 mph and white-out blizzards.

Bering sea storm

"We've had some storm surge and we've had some water, but we haven't reached the high-water mark yet," Johnson told The Times. A local cellphone tower lost service for about an hour, residents said, and the town's 911 service wasn't available for parts of Tuesday night, when the brunt of the storm hit land.

The 750-mile-long storm is one of the most powerful ever seen blowing in from the Bering Sea. As winds diminished, storm surges and rising water posed the biggest danger.

State officials said damage to homes appeared to be minimal so far, in part because Alaska's coastal villages are accustomed to severe storms and most homes are built on elevated platforms. Carol Seppilu in Nome posted images of the swirling snow outside her house.

The whole house was swaying and literally shaking," Johnson said.

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