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Powerful storm blasts Alaska islands, then weakens

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Sustained winds of 70 mph and gusts up to 96 mph were recorded Friday morning on Shemya Island, where 120 people had locked themselves indoors to wait out the storm.
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A storm fueled by the remnants of a powerful typhoon is losing power after blasting remote, mostly uninhabited islands that are part of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands chain with hurricane-force winds.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Shaun Baines said Saturday that the storm peaked Friday night.

Its strongest recorded winds were on Shemya Island, where the U.S. military maintains an early warning radar installation. It had sustained winds of 70 mph and gusts up to 96 mph.

Alaskan Command public affairs officer Tommie Baker says Eareckson Air Station suffered minor facility damage. The corners of a roof were bent back, and some dumpsters moved around.

Baines says the storm is approaching the Alaska mainland’s southwestern coast. But it has weakened significantly and is only expected to bring gale-force winds typical for this time of year.

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