A landslide occurred around 7.40 am on Saturday has cut off the access to the road connecting Alaska resort community to the city of Seward. The repair works had not started yet, due to safety concerns.
The public is requested to avoid the road along Resurrection Bay for their own safety after a slide — estimated at 200-feet high and 300-feet wide — buried the road on Saturday night and has cut off access between Seward and the community of Lowell Point to the south. It is unknown how long the road will remain closed, the city said Sunday.
Brenda Ballou, a city clerk, told CNN a few hundred people live in Lowell Point, an unincorporated, heavily visited tourist area on the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage”.
Marissa Beck, who owns a rental property in Seward, told CNN there are many cabins and rental houses in the area, and guests are now stuck in town or cannot get to their rentals. Many people are taking water taxis or their own boats to get to the other side of the slide.
Janette Bower, Seward city manager, said in a Facebook post that no injuries were reported from the landslide.
City officials met with local contractor Metco Alaska on Sunday morning to discuss debris removal, Ballou said. Metco Alaska has begun mobilizing equipment in preparation, but the work cannot begin until geologists conclude that the area is stable. For a better insight to the affected area, geologist will use UAV’s and remote sensing techniques, Ballou said.
“It may be over 40,000 cubic yards of debris that will have to be removed,” Ballou said.
While enormous boulders have already come down during the landslide, it’s hard to tell if the boulders above are stable or loose, Ballou said.
It is not the first landslide incident at this area. Last month, an avalanche 60 to 80 feet deep and 300 to 400 feet wide cut off nearly 100 houses in Anchorage, about 2.5 hours north of Seward.