One Confirmed Dead in Monday’s Wrangell Landslide, More Feared

Slide area. Image-Wrangell Sentinel/Facebook screengrab
Slide area. Image-Wrangell Sentinel/Facebook screengrab

Alaska State Troopers are asking that the public to not enter the landslide area at mile 11 of the Zimova Highway in Wrangell, and advising those who live between mile 11 and the end of the pavement to evacuate due to the possibility of additional landslides in the area.

Emergency responders from the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Wrangell Police Department, Wrangell Fire Department, US Forest Service, Wrangell Search and Rescue, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and the US Coast Guard responded upon receiving the report of the large landslide at just before 9 pm Monday night.

When a preliminary survey was conducted, it was determined that three residences were in the direct path of the slide and a hasty search was initiated for survivors. During the search remains of one person were discovered. The search will continue after a safety assessment is carried out by a geologist as there are multiple other people to have been in the immediate slide area and are believed missing.

An aerial search is ongoing by planes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) drones.

“The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is bringing in additional personnel and UAS drone equipment from DOT and AST this morning on a chartered aircraft from Juneau,” troopers reported this morning.

The public is asked to contact the Wrangell Police Department at (907) 874-3304 if they are aware that someone they know that was in the area and are now missing.