In an update on Thursday, the Department of Public Safety says that the search for the missing adult and two juveniles has changed and will be a reactive search rather than an active one after the constant searching for the past days has bore no results.
The search throughout the slide area adjacent to mile 11 of the Zimovia Highway initially located the remains of a girl and then the remains of two more victims. A woman who had been on the top floor of her home was also located alive and taken to the hospital. three more remain missing despite searches
The slide which is estimated at 450 feet took out three homes, one of which is believed to be unoccupied, as it swept down the mountainside on Monday. It is thought that the large amount of rainfall and high winds was the cause of the slide that thundered down the mountain and traversed the highway sweeping massive amounts of trees, soil, and debris into the water.
While the ground search was limited as a geologist was brought in to access the stability of the terrain, aerial searching with drones, helicopters, and planes took up the search. While ground searchers located the remains of a juvenile female, a drone would locate the remains of two on Tuesday afternoon.
Watercraft, with K9s and sonar combed the debris in the water to no avail.
On Tuesday Governor Mike Dunleavy issued a disaster declaration for the landslide. This declaration activated the state’s Individual and Public Assistance Programs according to the report.
The search continued throughout Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with no further results. K9 teams covered accessible areas and the waterline while air assets continued overhead.
It was announced on Thursday that the search would change from active to reactive and DOT operations would begin clearing debris from the highway to restore power to the 75 homes on the south side of the slide area. Those residences have been receiving supplies by boat throughout the ordeal.
“If new evidence or information suggests that any missing people may be in a specific area in the slide zone, the Alaska State Troopers may restart the active search focused on that new area,” AST says.
Photos from the government agencies participating in the response effort are available on the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Flickr account. https://www.flickr.com/photos/akdotpf/albums/72177720312881408