ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A powerful storm is battering coastal communities in western Alaska with snow and hurricane-force winds.
Alaska's emergency management agency says it's treating the storm as "extremely dangerous" and potentially a "storm of record." An agency spokesman says while people in the region are used to extreme weather, "this is not a normal storm."
The storm has been churning up the Bering Sea, and residents are bracing for a possible surge of sea water. Water has already reached homes in at least four Native villages. There have been no reports of injuries and damage so far has been limited to blown-out windows, torn roofs and power outages.
In Nome, residents of Front Street, which runs less than 100 feet from the seawall, have been asked to evacuate to higher ground. Officials are concerned that a lack of sea ice frozen to the shore could leave the town and Native villages along the coast vulnerable to surging waters.
The National Weather Service says wind gusts have reached 89 miles an hour.