Howling winds and dangerous waves that ravaged parts of Alaska’s western coast caused only minor problems for electric cooperatives serving the region, but dozens of villages reported damage.
National Weather Service meteorologists described the Nov. 9 Bering Sea storm as the strongest to hit the west coast of Alaska in 40 years. It was among the latest in a series of storms that have swept inland from the Bering Sea this fall, raking coastal communities and raising concerns about erosion.
“We deployed all of our traveling technicians in advance of the storm,” said Meera Kohler, president and CEO of Anchorage-based Alaska Village Electric Cooperative. Kohler received reports from technicians in the field as the storm moved ashore from the Bering Sea.
“In Teller, the water got to the steps of the power plant,” Kohler said. “Staff relocated to the airport at the end of the town where floodwaters hadn’t covered the road.”