A University of Alaska Fairbanks drone team headed to Western Alaska Wednesday to support the U.S. Coast Guard’s emergency response following Typhoon Merbok.
Over the next few days to weeks, the team will work alongside the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Task Force as they assess infrastructure damage at as many as 20 coastal communities in Alaska’s Bering Strait.
Typhoon Merbok damaged hundreds of miles of coastline on Sept. 17, from north of Bristol Bay to just beyond the Bering Strait. In places like Nome, the ocean rose 10.5 feet above the low-tide line, the highest in nearly half a century.
UAF’s team will use drones to evaluate the integrity of oil-bearing infrastructure and perform community assessments for other hazardous spills that may have occurred as a result of the storm.