ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Temperatures in some parts of Western Alaska have reached more than 40 degrees above normal this winter, causing waves to encroach on coasts that are usually covered by sea ice.

Alaska’s Energy Desk reported Monday that social media posts last week showed open water where there’s normally ice in the Bering Strait village of Diomede.

A major storm Feb. 20 blew the village’s dwindling ice away, flooding the Diomede’s water treatment plant and knocking out its power.

Tribal coordinator Frances Ozenna said the waves were an odd, amazing change for the village. Ozenna says nobody was expecting the record low sea ice.

Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist based in Anchorage, says it’s not just Diomede. He says the Bering Sea is currently at the lowest level in 40 years of data.

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