'Storm of epic proportions' hits Alaska coast

By REUTERS
November 10, 2011 05:09

 
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A storm forecast to be one of the worst on record in Alaska lashed the state's western coastline on Wednesday, tearing roofs off buildings and pushing water and debris into communities, authorities said.

The storm, which began hitting Alaska late on Tuesday after building over the North Pacific Ocean, brought winds measured at up to 143 km per hour and flooded parts of some Native villages along the coastline.

There were no reports of deaths or injuries as of Wednesday evening, and damage tallied so far was caused largely by wind and included reports of tin roofs flying off and power lines down, authorities said.

"This is a storm of epic proportions, as it's being described," said Jeff Osiensky, a meteorologist and regional warning coordinator for the National Weather Service. "This is kind of ratcheted up to a level much higher than we've been accustomed to."

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