Waves from the Bering Sea splash up on a jetty on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Nome. (Peggy Fagerstrom/AP)

A powerful storm is slamming Western Alaska, with reports of major flooding in coastal communities including Golovin, Chevak, Hooper Bay, Kotlik and Shaktoolik.

The storm is the remnants of what was Typhoon Merbok, and forecasters have predicted it could be one of the worst storms to hit Alaska’s western coast in recent history.

Posts on social media Friday night and Saturday morning documented high waters flooding communities and high winds.

In a video recorded Friday in Hooper Bay, 63-year-old Judy Bunyon describes it as the worst storm she’s seen since childhood. The video showed water flooding homes and wind tearing off roofs. 

In Golovin, the National Weather Service reported around 7:30 a.m. that everyone is safe, but major flooding continues.

“The highest water levels are not expected until early this afternoon, so flooding will likely get worse,” the weather service said in a Facebook post. “Water is entirely surrounding the school, homes and structures are flooded, at least a couple homes floating off the foundation, some older fuel tanks are tilted over, waves are starting to push into the community driven by 60 mph winds.” 

In Chevak, one person wrote: “Practically all boats and sheds sunk/floated away.”

The weather service is also reporting high water and flooding in Kotlik Saturday morning, and significant waves in Shaktoolik.

Alaska’s western coast remains under a flood warning.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

Editor’s note: If you live in a community impacted by the historic storm, we’d like to hear from you. If you’re interested in speaking with a reporter, please reach out: news@alaskapublic.org or 907-550-8444. Thank you.

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AKPM & KYUK staff report
2022-09-17 17:00:53
Alaska Public Media

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