Mother of All Storms Hits Alaska

Some residents evacuating Nome
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2011 11:28 AM CST
Mother of All Storms Hits Alaska
A woman walks amid the newly fallen snow in downtown on Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, in Juneau, Alaska.   (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Roofs are being ripped off and residents are seeking higher ground today as Alaska’s western coast is pummeled by a storm the likes of which hasn't been seen since 1974. In Nome, which is bearing the brunt of the severe weather, water is pooling at the base of buildings, one meteorologist tells the AP. Last night saw blizzard conditions with wind gusts up to 80mph; surging waves are also being reported, and a sea level rise of up to seven feet could cause more severe flooding later today.

Officials are particularly concerned for Alaska Natives in 18 isolated villages in the area. One, Point Hope, is just seven to eight feet above sea level and has no sea wall or evacuation road. The 700 residents of the Inupiat Eskimo village plan to go to the school, which is on higher ground and can hold everyone, if they need to evacuate. (More Alaska stories.)

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