With more rain on the way, recovery work intensifies at Sitka slide

Jeremy Zidek, spokesman for Homeland Security, briefs the media Thursday morning in Sitka. National Weather Service incident meteorologist Joel Curtis (center), and incident commander Al Stevens (right), were preparing for more rain on Friday. (KCAW photo)
Jeremy Zidek, spokesman for Homeland Security, briefs the media Thursday morning in Sitka. National Weather Service incident meteorologist Joel Curtis (center), and incident commander Al Stevens (right), were preparing for more rain on Friday. (KCAW photo)

The National Weather Service is predicting more rain Friday, with two to three inches falling Friday night, and some gusty winds. Incident meteorologist Joel Curtis, with the National Weather Service, says the rain is expected over a longer stretch of time than Tuesday’s downpour, limiting the risk of more landslides.

Search crews recovered a body from the Kramer Avenue landslide in Sitka, around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday. Officials are not releasing the name of the person who was found, at the request of the family. Two other men remain missing.
The body was found by a cadaver dog with the Juneau-based search team SEADOGS. Sitka has requested more dog teams, which are expected on the ground Thursday.

Search efforts are ongoing, with crews combing through the Kramer Avenue site. Assistant Fire Chief Al Stevens says the effort right now is “one log at a time” as the team searches for the two missing men.

A team of geologists brought in to assess the site have determined that it’s safe enough to continue work, though the area remains unstable. That same team has determined that the slide began at an elevation of 1,400 feet up Harbor Mountain.

The National Weather Service is predicting more rain Friday, with two to three inches falling Friday night, and some gusty winds. But the rain is expected over a longer stretch of time than Tuesday’s downpour, limiting the risk of more landslides.

Officials have now identified at least seven landslides around Sitka, including slides on the Blue Lake Road that are blocking access to Sitka’s dam; and washouts on the Green Lake Road.

KCAW - Sitka

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