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Landslide in Wrangell, Alaska Spurs Search and Rescue

A major landslide occurred at 11 Mile Zimovia Highway in Wrangell, Alaska. It happened late on Monday, November 20th. The City and Borough of Wrangell has been providing updates via social media. An initial assessment found that three single-family residences were in the direct path of the landslide. One person has been found deceased, and more people are suspected missing. While emergency responders from local groups were first to respond, Alaska State Troopers have since taken charge of the search and rescue effort.

Recent Updates

Officials are working on bringing in a Southeast Alaska-based geologist to assess the slide, allowing them to conduct search efforts more safely. The slide is still unstable and has been active overnight with the possibility of more slides in the area. The storm moving across Southeast Alaska has caused several slides across Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island, KRBD reports. They also note power outages in the southern Southeast and blizzard conditions in the northern Southeast.

Stikine River Radio posted an update, noting that multiple families were relocated by boat overnight. They named Harbor Light Church and the Stikine Inn as places offering food and lodging to those displaced by the slide or worried about the stability near them.

Ketchikan Alaska
Ketchikan, to the South. Photo by Robert Linder

Recent History and Community Support

Landslides occur with some frequency in Southeast Alaska. Sitka experienced one in 2015 and has ongoing work on a warning system. The community in Haines is still recovering from a slide in 2020, while much the same can be said of Juneau and its 2022 slide. The region has many stories similar to this most recent landslide in Wrangell, Alaska.

The city’s Facebook page will continue to offer updates. For those who know people in the area that are missing, they are asked to call the Wrangell Police Department for a missing persons report. The Community Center Kitchen is accepting food donations. A fundraiser is available here.

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