Alaska Pounded By Superstorm, May Unleash Worst Flooding In 50 Years

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Sep 17, 2022 - 03:00 PM

Residents on Alaska's western coast braced for dangerous weather as the remnants of Typhoon Merbok traversed the Bering Sea region. The storm hit late Friday night and will last through the weekend.

"Latest models show coastal surge higher than the November 2011 storm that brought significant flooding to the area," the National Weather Service (NWS) said, adding that flooding could be "potentially historical." 

"This is a dangerous storm that will produce widespread coastal flooding south of the Bering strait with water levels above those seen in nearly 50 years," NWS warned. 

NWS office in Fairbanks said the storm "may exceed the 2011 Bering Sea Superstorm." The weather agency tweeted an area where severe coastal flooding will occur through the weekend. 

NWS meteorologist Alan Shriver, based in Anchorage, told NBC News that the storm has "derived its energy from the warm sea surface," calling it "an exceptionally rare event." 

Shriver tweeted waves in the south central Bering Sea exceed 50 feet -- making it extremely dangerous for any vessel transiting the region. 

Along with coastal flooding, wind gusts between 50-75 mph are expected and could reach as high as 100 mph along the upper west coast of the state and in the Aleutian Islands, Mike Youman, lead meteorologist at AccuWeather, said. 

"There hasn't been a September storm this strong in the northern Bering Sea region in the past 70 years," tweeted Rick Thoman, a climate specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy.

On Saturday morning, there were reports of wind and flooding damage across the Bering and coastal regions of Alaska's western coast.