Wind hampers search for Teller man

Searchers in the coastal village of Teller are looking for a man missing since Wednesday, when the storm battered the area, troopers say.

Kyle Komok was last seen at about 4 p.m. driving a four-wheeler toward a small jetty outside of town, said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters. "We believe he was going there just to pretty much see the waves hit the seawall."

Villagers went door-to-door looking for Komok later that night, Peters said, and searchers on four-wheelers found no sign of the missing man or his vehicle Thursday morning.

"We sent men out the road to the point this morning," said Diane Miller with Teller Search and Rescue on Thursday. "They managed to make it, but they didn't find him or the four-wheeler. The road has some damage, so we called them back."

At the time Komok is thought to have driven to the point, most of the village was occupied moving several families to higher ground, Miller said. "Every storm is hectic. But we didn't expect this."

Winds of about 30 to 40 mph complicated the search Thursday, and it appears unsafe for boats to launch, Peters said in the afternoon. "With the storm going, it's not necessarily safe for the troopers to just load up and move out."

The closest state trooper to Teller is in Nome, 72 miles from the village. Bad weather prevents travel, Peters said. Troopers are advising searchers and evaluating conditions long distance.

"We can't really do anything more," she said.

Teller boaters attempted to search the harbor, Miller said. They checked boats and debris. But the waves were too dangerous to continue. "We called off the boat search at 2:30."

The weather reports for the next two days call for continued strong winds, she said.