Articles from the November 29, 2023 edition

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Four dead, two missing after 11-Mile landslide covers homes

A massive landslide 11 miles from town destroyed three homes on Nov. 20 - including one that housed a five-member family - and stranded more than 70 residents who lived south of the slide. Timothy... Full story

 

Highway reopens for limited hours, restricted use

Workers were able to clear out mud, trees and debris from the landslide zone to allow state and borough officials to reopen Zimovia Highway Tuesday morning for limited use. Initially, the two-lane road will be open for restricted hours: 8 to 8:30... Full story

 

Florschutz survives after landslide traps her overnight

Christina Florschutz, an aide at Evergreen Elementary School, survived the 11-Mile landslide that killed at least four people Nov. 20 - even after debris destroyed her home and trapped her overnight....

 

Landslide likely caused by rain, high winds

Heavy rains, high winds and the unique topography of the area likely caused the Nov. 20 landslide at 11-Mile. The type of landslide that hit Wrangell is called a "debris flow" - a "notably destructive...

 

Landslide eyewitnesses and evacuees share their stories

People living near the landslide's path had a harrowing night Nov. 20, as homes were evacuated and first responders searched for people who were unaccounted for. Stan Guggenbickler was missing...

 

State releases names of landslide dead and missing

State officials have released the names of the four people killed and two others still missing from the Nov. 20 landslide that hit just past 11-Mile Zimovia Highway. As of Monday, Nov. 27, searchers h...

 

The Way We Were

Nov. 29, 1923 The U.S. Bureau of Education boat Boxer, Capt. S. T. L. Whittman commanding, with W.T. Lopp, had in its cargo 92 reindeer carcasses from St. Lawrence Island, near the Siberian coast. When Mr. Lopp expressed his willingness to...

 

Memories are a source of solace and strength

Friendship and community support can comfort. Volunteers can collect food and money, provide housing, transportation and fuel. Relief and counseling organizations like churches, SEARHC, the Red Cross and state and federal agencies can help people...

 

Regional monitoring system needed for landslides

Southeast Alaska is known for rain, windstorms, mountainsides that loom above residential areas — and landslides that occur with increasing frequency. Sitka knows the risk, and the pain, losing three people in a 2015 landslide. Haines lost two p...

 

Wrangell shows its strength in time of adversity

Growing up in central Virginia and later moving to the Washington, D.C., area, natural disasters took the form of thunderstorms, hurricanes, floods, snowfalls and ice storms. I even experienced an earthquake in Silver Spring, Maryland in the summer...

 

Counseling available to help residents cope with tragedy

Counseling and behavioral health services are available as the community comes together to help those in need after the deadly landslide. SEARHC has been providing counseling at no cost, and a private practitioner in Haines also is offering free...

 

Similar landslide hit closer to town in 1979

Though disasters like the 11-Mile landslide are infrequent, they’re not unprecedented in Wrangell. In October 1979, a hillside at 1.4-Mile Zimovia Highway gave way, covering more than 20 acres with mud, trees and debris. The town had almost nine i...

 

Financial aid available under state disaster declaration

Individuals and the borough are eligible for financial aid under the state’s disaster assistance programs. State grants to individuals are limited to no more than $21,250 for housing repairs and up to the same amount for other needs. That could i...

 

Fundraising underway to help people affected by slide

Several fundraisers have been started to provide aid to people affected by last week’s landslide. Tammi Meissner, Wrangell’s community navigator with the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida, said the Wrangell Strong Community Relief Group Fac...

 

Former resident returns to help, and finds home at Thanksgiving dinner

The community effort to bring in food and games, set up tables and chairs for a Thanksgiving meal at the community center was intended to help residents come together just days after the landslide tra...

 

Petersburg adds its help to Wrangell recovery efforts

Volunteers have come together to help Wrangell, particularly from Petersburg. A crowd of volunteers, which included Parks and Recreation Director Lucy Robinson, Chris and Dixie Booker from C&D...

 

Sitka responded to fatal 2015 landslide with monitoring system

A series of landslides hit Sitka more than eight years ago during heavy rain, with the largest striking a new subdivision and killing three workers. It prompted the community, led by the Sitka Sound Science Center, to set up a landslide warning...

 

It was a stormy day throughout Southeast

The strong storm system that hit Wrangell on Nov. 20 struck across Southeast Alaska, dumping snow in the north, rain in the south and heavy winds throughout. A landslide closed parts of North Tongass Highway in Ketchikan on Nov. 20 and Alaska Power &...

 

Satellite link in a backpack provides service for landslide responders

First responders and volunteers working at the site of the deadly landslide have a Wi-Fi signal, thanks to a backpack satellite-link setup the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska sent to Wrangell. The council’s operations c...

 

Global fish farming industry tries to clean up its waters

If it still seems strange to think of fish growing on farms, it shouldn’t. The global industry has had to grow. Demand for seafood is soaring and will continue to rise. But the oceans are giving up all they can: Production of wild fish around the w...

 
 By Anna Laffrey    News    November 29, 2023

Southeast subsistence council comments on review of potential mariculture sites

Subsistence representatives for Southeast have weighed in on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration planning process that is working to identify potential sites for commercial seaweed, kelp and shellfish farms in Alaska waters. In its...

 

Tribes call for continued protection of federal lands in Western Alaska

Nearly 80 Alaska tribes are calling on the Biden administration to retain decades-old protections for 28 million acres of land scattered across large swaths of Alaska. The administration is conducting an environmental review to weigh the impacts of...

 
 By James Brooks    News    November 29, 2023

Hemp industry sues state to block rules against selling their products

A coalition of hemp growers and manufacturers has sued the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, claiming that new limits on intoxicating hemp products are unconstitutional. The lawsuit, by the Alaska Industrial Hemp Association and four... Full story

 

Police report

Monday, Nov. 20 Agency assist: Search and Rescue. Agency assist: Metlakatla Police Department. Agency assist: Museum. Agency assist: Pretrial. Agency assist: Ambulance. Agency assist: Disaster response. Tuesday, Nov. 21 Agency assist: Welfare check....

 
 By Yereth Rosen    News    November 29, 2023

Federal report cites threats to Alaska from climate change

Alaska is warming at two or three times the U.S. rate, with impacts ranging from individuals’ health and safety to the military security of the nation, according to a new federal report. The Fifth National Climate Assessment, a multiagency scientific... Full story

 

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