Weather Service warns of severe Bering Sea storm

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- The National Weather Service is warning that a severe Bering Sea storm has the potential for widespread damage when it hits western Alaska.

Forecasters expect 40 to 55 mph winds with higher gusts Tuesday night and Wednesday over the west coast. Gusts to 70 mph can be expected along the Chukotsk Peninsula and near Kotzebue, 75 mph over St. Lawrence Island and the Bering Strait coast.

Forecasters say near-hurricane force winds will generate 20-foot seas over the Chukchi Sea and 15-to-25-feet seas over the northern Bering Sea.

Winds will push large amounts of water into Norton Sound, raising sea levels 8-to-9 feet above normal Tuesday night through Wednesday. That will cause beach erosion and flooding along Norton Sound and may push Norton Bay ice on shore.