(Reuters) – Remnants of the former typhoon Merbok flooded Alaska’s western coast on Saturday, bringing high waves, with wind gusts up to 60 mph pushing rising sea waters inland and knocking some houses off foundations in Nome, as the storm crawled north through the Bering Sea, the National Weather Service.
The typhoon formed over the northwestern Pacific during the second week of September but has transitioned into a powerful rainstorm as it moves ashore.
The “potentially historic” storm may bring the worst damage to the Alaska coast in 50 years, NWS forecasters said.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy declared a disaster for communities impacted. He said that no reports of injuries had been received as of Saturday afternoon.
No official storm damage estimates were immediately available.
Seawater was right up to the airport runway in Nome, NWS Alaska meteorologist Don Moore told Reuters.
“Southwest Alaska is seeing the worst of it,” Moore said. “Nome, Golovin and the Northern Sound are facing water run-up from wind gusts blowing all that water onto the shore, ripping up seawalls.”
The storm is expected to drop only another 1 to 2 inches of rain in parts of Alaska over the next day or two. Moore said.
What’s left of Merbok will weaken as it drifts into the Arctic Circle next week.
(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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