Big storm bearing down on Alaska
The tiny, frozen villages of western Alaska are bracing for what is being described as a monster storm, stretching 750 miles across the Bering Sea and moving in Tuesday night with hurricane-force winds, white-out blizzards and punishing storm surges.
The always-turbulent Bering Sea, the gloomy northern waterway between Alaska and Russia, already had 28- to 35-foot seas by Tuesday afternoon; the full brunt of the storm overnight was expected to reach towns such as Nome, Kivalina and Kotzebue – remote rural communities far from help – with winds gusting to 75 mph.
“Alaska west coast to be hit by one of the most severe Bering Sea storms on record,” the National Weather Service warned in a bulletin.
Some stores, bars and inns were boarding up windows along front streets in Nome, where it was 27 degrees with wind gusts of up to 50 mph Tuesday afternoon, even before the brunt of the storm hit.