Powerful dangerous storm is developing in Alaska

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A powerful and dangerous storm in over five decades threatens the Alaska region over the weekend and local officials have been urging residents to prepare for it as flooding and damaging winds began to affect portions of Alaska’s western coast early Saturday. In fact there are the remnants of Typhoon Merbok which will generate the state’s strongest storm in years. Water levels are could be as high as 12 to 18 feet above normal in some bays, with widespread areas 3 to 10 feet above normal. Coastal flood watches have also been issued for all coastlines along the west coast of Alaska between just north of the Arctic Circle down through the Kuskokwim Delta coast. Areas along Unalakleet, Shaktoolik ,Golovin, Shishmaref, Wales and Kivalina are between the most affected. Local agencies were preparing to respond.

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“Latest models show coastal surge higher than the November 2011 storm that brought significant flooding to the area,” the National Weather Service forecasted early Friday morning. All areas along the coastline from Quinhagak to Point Hope are under coastal flood and high wind warnings, while Cape Lisburne and northern coastal areas stretching to Teshekpuk Lake are under coastal flooding watches.Structural damage and blown-down power lines are feared. The last time Alaska saw a strong storm was in 2011.