A monstrous tropical cyclone that slammed into the Bering Sea is spinning off into Russia, but its final gasps in Alaska remain potentially deadly.
Most of Alaska's western coast can expect towering seas, brutal winds and possible flooding through late Friday. The biggest swells – up to 24 feet -- might be felt off the Seward Peninsula, where winds could reach 45 knots. But seas will be a dozen feet or more across the Bering Sea and southern Chukchi Sea.
The low-pressure burricane continues to rattle even the remote Aleutian Islands, thanks to the storm's huge mass, about one-third the size of the mainland U.S.
"It's still cooking out there," said Dan Peterson, National Weather Service meteorologist. "Russia gets to play with it now, but we're still on the tail end of it."
The U.S. Coast Guard has pre-staged a cutter in the region. The 418-foot Waesche, part of a fleet of Coast Guard vessels that patrolled the Arctic Ocean this summer, remains anchored in a Bering Sea port, ready to respond with its on-board Dolphin helicopter to everything from medevacs to oil spills, said Petty Officer Shawn Eggert.
Coast Guard helicopters are also available in Cold Bay, he said. Concerns include Bering Sea crabbers chasing red king crab and the increasing international ship traffic sailing through the Bering Strait, he said.
The storm began hitting Alaska on Tuesday. Eggert, with the weather service, said it doesn't appear to have done a lot of damage.
"St. Paul had a satellite dish blown off the house, and some dumpsters were turned over, but those guys are used to this," he said. "I haven't heard of any other damage so far."
Here's more from the Coast Guard release:
"Because the severity of the weather may impact the Coast Guard's ability to respond to emergencies, the Coast Guard is encouraging all mariners to closely monitor radio weather broadcasts and seek shelter in a safe port if able."
Visit the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Website at www.arh.noaa.gov for the most up to date information on the storm. To learn more about preparing for emergency situations please visit the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management's Website at www.ak-prepared.com
Contact Alex DeMarban at alex(at)alaskadispatch.com