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Hurricane-force winds possible in Friday storm

Will McCarthy
A National Weather Service meteorologist called the storm system that's forecast to hit Sept. 16 "really potent."

A large storm that could reach hurricane-force winds is headed to western Alaska. It’s forecast to start Sept. 16 and continue into Sept. 17.

The forecast says that it will be especially strong along the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta coast. The National Weather Service (NWS) is urging people to begin preparing for the storm now.

“We’re tracking a really potent storm system,” NWS meteorologist Kaitlyn O'Brien said.

O’Brien said that NWS is especially concerned about strong winds from the southwest.

“This is going to impact the Kuskokwim Delta coast, where we'll see southwest winds at 45 to 60 miles per hour sustained wind values,” O'Brien said.

She said that gusts could reach 80 miles per hour, which are hurricane-force winds.

There’s also a coastal flood watch for the Y-K Delta coast. O’Brien said that water levels on the coast could be 4 feet to 7 feet above the regular high tide.

O’Brien said that now is the time to start preparing for the storm. She said that it’s possible that there could be power outages, and that travel might become difficult.

“It's still really packing a punch. In fact, you know, it's been, we're looking at the weather models extensively. And it's been strengthening,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said that especially in a storm with wind forecasts this high, it’s important to secure your belongings.

She said to monitor NWS for continued updates.

Nina is a temporary news reporter at KYUK. She comes to Bethel from NPR, where she's a producer at Morning Edition.
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