Storm sends ship to port

Posted: Monday, August 12, 2002

A storm hitting Southeast Alaska drove at least one cruise ship to seek safe harbor.

The National Weather Service put out gale wind warnings for most of the Panhandle, along with flood and mudslide advisories for Lynn Canal and Glacier Bay, said forecaster Michael Mitchell.

At noon, a flood watch was being contemplated for Juneau. A couple of inches of rain had fallen between midnight and noon and another inch is expected tonight, Mitchell said. Meanwhile the winds in downtown Juneau were 40 mph around the lunch hour, and predicted to get worse as the storm moved our way.

"We haven't seen the worst of it yet," Mitchell said.

The weather is already worse in other parts of Southeast Alaska. Yakutat had 4.4 inches of rain before noon and the winds were gusting up to 56 mph in Skagway, Mitchell said. On Sunday night there was a thunderstorm above Gustavus. The cruise ship Legend of the Seas joined the Ryndam at Auke Bay this morning. The Ryndam had stopped at Auke Bay for mechanical reasons.

"There are a bunch of ships that have sought shelter," said Rose Abello, spokeswoman for Holland America cruise line. "Apparently the seas are quite rough."

The waves are up to 14 feet high in the Cross Sound area and will continue building tonight, Mitchell said.

"I would not want to be on the water myself," Mitchell said.

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