An unusual sea storm slammed Nome, Alaska Tuesday night and will continue wreaking havoc on the region well into Wednesday.
Tuesday night, winds of up to 80 mph ripped through the western region of Alaska with reports of buildings losing roofs and sea surges, flooding areas—The storm surge was predicted to possibly produce a seven-foot rise in sea levels.
Nome, who reportedly has a count of around 3,500 residents, experienced extreme blizzard conditions during the height of the storm which was recorded at about 2 a.m.—The rare sea storm sparked a voluntary evacuation and sent residents in beachfront communities seeking refuge at shelters, hotels and churches on higher ground.
“All people in the area should take precautions to safeguard their lives and property,” read a warning from the National Weather Service.
Meteorologists predicted flooding to continue today during high tide. According to the Huffington Post, a National Weather Service update for Nome, Alaska from 6:53 a.m (AKST) on Wednesday said that a coastal flood warning is in effect until 6 a.m. (AKST) on Thursday, and a winter storm warning is in effect until 9 p.m. (AKST) this evening.
Earlier, National Weather Service warned that the storm would be of “epic magnitude.”
“A powerful and extremely dangerous storm of near record or record magnitude is bearing down on the west coast of Alaska,” reads a report from National Weather Service. “This will be extremely dangerous and life threatening storm of an epic magnitude rarely experienced.”
The Associated Press reported that the last time forecasters saw something similar was in November 1974, when Nome took the brunt of another storm. That sea surge measured more than 13 feet, pushing beach driftwood above the level of the previous storm of its type in 1913.