Alaska landslide damages 3 homes, ‘squishes’ pickup

Sep 27, 2022, 3:04 PM | Updated: 7:15 pm

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A landslide triggered by record rainfall significantly damaged three homes, prompted the evacuation of about a dozen residents and caused power outages in downtown Juneau, Alaska’s capital city.

Geological assessment teams determined Tuesday that favorable weather has returned the threat level to pre-slide levels. The city’s public works department was preparing to begin removing debris, city spokesperson Meredith Thatcher said.

Of the three homes, one was completely destroyed as it came down the mountain and slammed into a second home, which was significantly damaged but remains standing, she said. The extent of damage to the third home was not yet known.

Residents will be allowed to return to their homes at their own discretion. “If you feel comfortable going home, you can go home,” Thatcher said.

The local power company was expected to restore service after the debris has been removed to the point where crews need to work.

Damage from the Monday evening landslide was confined to the one residential street above the downtown business district in the southeast Alaska mountain community of about 32,000 residents. There were no reported injuries, city officials said.

Evan Hartung was eating dinner in his home when he heard a rumbling sound over the TV, he told the Juneau Empire. He just managed to escape the house before the evergreen tree came swooshing down onto the stairs along the outside of his home, damaging them. It then knocked his pickup on its side before coming to rest, partially on top of the vehicle.

“My truck is squished,” he said.

Sarah Wallace and her partner live next door to Hartung. They also heard the noise and looked out their window to see Hartung “running outside without any shoes,” she told the Empire. That prompted them to also quickly exit their home.

About a dozen people — either those whose homes were damaged or others who decided to self-evacuate — stayed at a shelter that was set up by the American Red Cross at a downtown fire station, Thatcher told The Associated Press.

Residents in Juneau, located in the Tongass National Forest, the nation’s largest, are accustomed to a persistent light rain falling, but not deluges like they experienced Monday.

“We are a rain forest, so we’re supposed to get rain,,” said National Weather Service forecaster Kimberly Vaughan in Juneau. “These were record rainfall amounts and some of them broke the previous records by nearly 2 inches.”

Lena Point, located about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest of downtown Juneau, recorded 3.04 inches (7.72 centimeters) of rain, the highest daily amount in about 30 years of record keeping there. The previous record for precipitation in a 24-hour period was 1.14 inches (2.90 centimeters) in 2017.

Other daily rainfall records were recorded at the Juneau weather forecast office, with 2.59 inches (6.58 centimeters) beating the previous record of 1.12 inches (2.84 centimeters) in 2009, and 2.22 inches (5.64 centimeters) at the airport, surpassing the record of 2.02 inches (5.13 centimeters) set in 1936.

The rains also caused the Mendenhall River to rise in Juneau, prompting some flooding advisories.

In Skagway, about 100 miles (160.93 kilometers) north of Juneau, there’s a flood warning in effect for the Taiya River. The river was at 16.85 feet (5.14 meters) early Tuesday, just above flooding stage but was expected to drop throughout the day.

Persistent rain has caused some flooding and led officials to close a campground. There also have been ongoing landslides since one closed the cruise ship dock last summer.

A large slide over the weekend dropped several thousand cubic yards of debris adjacent to that dock, city manager Brad Ryan said.

However, there’s been no reports of homes damaged or people injured.

“I think we’re feeling like we’ve weathered it pretty good,” he said.

Landslides are common in Alaska. Last May, a slide brought down dozens of full-grown evergreen trees and debris, temporarily closing a road in the coastal community of Seward.

In 2020, two people were killed in the southeast Alaska community of Haines when a slide as wide as two football fields slammed into a neighborhood. The only route through Denali National Park and Preserve is closed and expected to remain so through 2024 after the Pretty Rocks landslide covered 100 yards (91 meters) of the road. Officials are proposing construction of a 400-foot (121.9-meter) bridge spanning the landslide area.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Hiring sign is displayed outside of a retail store in Vernon Hills, Ill., Saturday, Nov. 13,...
Associated Press

Applications for jobless benefits decline last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits came back down last week, hovering near levels suggesting the U.S. labor market has been largely unaffected by the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes. Applications for jobless aid fell to 225,000 for the week ending Nov. 26, a decline of 16,000 from the […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Signs advertise deals and low prices at a Walmart in Secaucus, N.J., Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022....
Associated Press

An inflation gauge tracked by the Fed slows to still-high 6%

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of inflation that is closely monitored by the Federal Reserve eased but remained at an elevated level in October, likely reinforcing the Fed’s intent to keep raising interest rates to cool the economy and slow the acceleration of prices. Thursday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 6% […]
8 hours ago
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2015 file photo, Juventus President Andrea Agnelli arrives for a Serie A s...
Associated Press

Indictments requested for Agnelli and others in Juve scandal

TURIN, Italy (AP) — The Turin prosecutor’s office has requested indictments of former Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, 10 other former board members, and the club following an investigation into alleged false accounting. Former vice-president Pavel Nedved and CEO Maurizio Arrivabene — who left the club on Monday when Agnelli and the entire board of directors […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

German parliament votes to approve EU-Canada trade pact

BERLIN (AP) — German lawmakers on Thursday approved a free-trade deal between the European Union and Canada, moving the accord a step closer to taking full effect. The pact, formally known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, was signed in late 2016. Most of its terms have been implemented provisionally since 2017, […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Fed matches year of hot inflation with feverish rate hikes

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street expects the impact of the Federal Reserve’s most aggressive year of interest rate hikes in at least three decades to continue to be felt through next year. The central bank’s plan to fight stubbornly high prices on everything from food to clothing has been the central focus for Wall […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Jamie Lee Curtis appears at the Governors Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 19, 2022. Curtis is ...
Associated Press

Jamie Lee Curtis to receive AARP Career Achievement Award

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Scream Queen” Jamie Lee Curtis will be this year’s recipient of AARP The Magazine’s Movies for Grownups Awards career achievement honor. Curtis will receive the honor at the AARP’s annual Best Movies and TV for Grownups ceremony, the group announced Thursday. Alan Cumming returns to host the ceremony, which will be […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Alaska landslide damages 3 homes, ‘squishes’ pickup