Removing debris from Juneau landslide could take days, city says

A man stands looking at a jumble of debris and a powerpole piled against a Toyota Tacoma lying on its side
Juneau Emergency Programs Manager Tom Mattice assesses landslide damage on Gastineau Avenue on Sept. 27, 2022. (Photo by Paige Sparks/KTOO)

People who left Gastineau Avenue after Monday’s landslide can return home, the City and Borough of Juneau said in an information release Tuesday afternoon. But they’re asking everyone else to stay away for now.

Tom Mattice, Juneau’s emergency programs manager, said one home was completely destroyed by the slide, and two more were damaged. 

Mattice said people will have to decide on their own when they feel safe returning.

“We can’t tell them when it’s safe or when it’s not safe, but with no rain over the last 12 hours, that hazard is definitely declining,” Mattice said. “And this hazard is a channelized, localized hazard.”

Mattice said the city is still assessing whether it will need to do anything to stabilize the slide area.

A Gastineau Avenue home impaled by a tree and pushed downslope by a landslide on Sept. 26, 2022 in Juneau. (Photo by Paige Sparks/KTOO)

Late Tuesday afternoon, AEL&P tweeted that power had been restored to most of Gastineau Avenue.

Taylor Sausen, with the Red Cross, said 12 people came to the emergency shelter after the landslide. They were given hotel vouchers for the night.

For those wondering how to help, Sausen said there isn’t much to be done right now. But she said the slide was a reminder that everyone should be ready to go in case of emergencies.

“It’s really a good idea to make sure that you have an evacuation kit or an emergency kit somewhere in your home, so that if you have to evacuate at a moment’s notice, you’re not spending those precious moments that you could be getting to safety, packing items that you may need,” Sausen said.

The American Red Cross assists evacuees after a landslide on Gastineau Avenue in Juneau Alaska on Sept. 26 2022. (Photo by Paige Sparks/KTOO)

The city says that debris removal could take several days. Cars parked within a block of 187 Gastineau Avenue will be towed, free of charge, to the Zach Gordon Youth Center if owners do not move them first.

This post has been updated with information from AEL&P about the power situation on Gastineau.

Yvonne Krumrey

Local News Reporter, KTOO

Juneau is built on hidden and assumed layers of power and access, influencing how we interact with identity, with the law and with each other. I bring you stories of the gaps in access to power, and those who are working to close those gaps.

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