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Lowell Point residents adjust to temporary normal

A ‘monster’ landslide in Seward that occurred Saturday is estimated to be 40,000 cubic yards of debris and stretches across 300 feet of the road.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 3:49 PM AKDT
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SEWARD, Alaska (KTUU) - A ‘monster’ landslide in Seward that occurred Saturday is estimated to be 40,000 cubic yards of debris and stretches across 300 feet of the road.

The natural disaster has cut off vehicle traffic traveling south from Seward to Lowell Point on the other side of the landslide. Seward City Manager Janette Bower is estimating there are about 200 people — both residents and tourists — whose only means of travel is to take a boat across Resurrection Bay back into Seward for supplies.

“Lowell Point community is a destination community, we have a lot of visitors down there,” said Bower. “...It is loved throughout the state, so people come here to go down there so there’s constant traffic on the road.”

Miller’s Landing has been offering free roundtrip rides on their water taxi between Lowell Point to Seward, helping those on the other side to continue their everyday lives.

But until the road is cleared, those on the other side of the debris, like Eli Hancock, have to use a water taxi.

“It’s been a little rough,” Hancock said. “Miller’s landing has definitely just kicked up their game and is trying to assist both the local and visiting population as much as they can.”

Even though Hancock said his everyday life hasn’t had to change much, he still has had to adapt to a temporary lifestyle without road access.

“This backpack is full of groceries for the next 10 days,” Hancock said. “I’m trying not to leave the point until then.”

Bower said the city is working with Metco Alaska — who started work on clearing the debris Monday —on a timeframe of when the debris will be cleared, but said that it will take time.

“It’s really depending on conditions and they’re driving the timeframe, the company that we’re working with this Metco, and they’re driving the timeframe based on the stability,” Bower said. “If there’s another slide and they don’t feel safe in the area, then they will stop and wait till things are stable. So they’re going to drive the timeframe. We we don’t know how long. It could we several weeks before it’s fully open.”

Once the debris is cleared, Bower said they will be going through and assessing the road to make sure it is safe for vehicles.

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