A heavy storm overnight (Nov. 10) flooded the coasts of Western Alaska and wreaked havoc in several communities.
In Kotlik, located on the Yukon River Delta, the storm flooded the Kotlik slough, causing severe damage when ice chunks were shoved up the banks.
State officials say Kotlik has reported damage to its sewage and water facilities and to five homes.
Jacqueline Gosch, a Kotlik resident, says the ice also pushed dry-docked boats onto higher land, and the village's boardwalk was completely washed away and redistributed in other parts of town.
South of Kotlik in Tununak, rough waves washed away the road near an essential bridge that leads to the village's airport and garbage dump.
“So far, we've been having storms this year, but so far, this one I've seen is the highest one for the year,” said Peter Angaiak, Tununak Resident.
In Unalakleet, high waters swamped the town, as well. Boats that had been dry-docked for the season were seen floating in the storm's floodwaters.
Similar scenes were found nearby in Golovin, where public works employees stayed up all night, piling sands into berms to keep the rough seas out of town and away from homes.
“It would have been a lot more houses, probably would have been wet if we didn't stockpile that sand down there,” said Peter Olson, Golovin Public Works. “In the past, floors have been damaged, foundations have been wet, insulation and such. Like I said, if we didn't stockpile the sand, hold it back, it would have got a lot more house.”
The State Emergency Operation Center has recalled staff to monitor the storm. Workers have received reports of minor damage between Scammon Bay and Unalakleet. There have been no reports of injuries or missing people.
“Yeah we're really fortunate, it could've been a lot worse,” said Olson. “We're really thankful for all the people that stepped up and stayed up to make sure that everybody that needed to get evacuated, did that needed to.”