Multiple landslides reported in Southeast Alaska as rain, winds, and snow hit area

The majority of the landslides are through the Southern Inner Channels, where high winds and rain have inundated the area
Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 8:12 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The first significant winter storm of the season affecting Southeast Alaska is leaving the Panhandle with shifting topography. From heavy snow, to high winds and downpours, Southeast has been dealing with numerous reports of landslides affecting the region, including one near Wrangell that left a stretch of the Zimovia Highway cut off from the town.

The weakening storm is still lingering in the northeastern Gulf of Alaska. While the location of the low is pulling in plenty of warmth to the Panhandle, areas near Haines and Skagway continue to remain among the few places in Southeast that are still dealing with heavy snow. These locations remain under a winter storm warning through this afternoon, with an additional 4 to 6 inches of snow expected with winds gusting up to 50 mph. Travel will continue to remain difficult, with gusty winds bringing the possibility of downed trees.

Many areas will see a reprieve from the heavy rain and snow through the day, as the system begins to lose steam. While Haines, Skagway, and White Pass could see snow for much of the day, the rest of the Panhandle has already seen a transition to rain. This heavy rain will be on and off through the day but could lead to additional minor flooding and landslide issues.

As of this morning, numerous storm reports have come in from Southeast that have led to power outages, flooding, and landslides.

Storm ReportLocationImpacts
Non-Tstorm Wind DamageJuneauPower Outage reported in downtown Juneau by off duty NWS Employee
Non-Tstorm Wind DamageJuneauSunken vessel in harbor in downtown Juneau
Non-Tstorm Wind DamageHainesDowned power lines on Beach Road
Non-Tstorm Wind DamageKetchikanPower outages north and south of Ketchikan
Non-Tstorm Wind DamageSitkaBetween 3 to 8 trees have fallen in a yard, with 3 of them falling on a person’s house.
Non-Tstorm Wind DamageHydaburgRoofs blown off and flying debris observed
LandslideHollisRoad Closure on Hollis Road from landslides caused by heavy rain
SnowMosquito Lake (Haines)15.5 inches of new snow has fallen in the Chilkat Valley
SnowAuka Bay (Juneau)Reports of up to a foot of snow near Tee Harbor and Lena Point north of bypass road
SnowTwin Lakes (Juneau)6 inches of snow
SnowHaines8 inches of snow
SnowGustavusStorm total at Gustavus is near 15 inches
FloodCoffman CoveReport of a road washed out near Coffman Cove
LandslideHydaburgSmall landslide reported in Hydaburg
LandslideKlawockLandslide reported at Black Bear Lake
LandslideWrangellLarge landslide reported between milepost 10 and 12 of the Zimovia Highway south of Wrangell. Two or more houses affected. Number of injuries/fatalities is unknown. Highway is currently blocked and closed and power is out for areas south of the Pat Creek Bridge
LandslideKetchikanReport of a landslide near Ward Cove. North Tongass Highway was closed and some power outages were reported in the area
Non-Tstorm Wind DamageAnnette IslandPower out at Annette Island due to tree falling on power lines
Non-Tstorm Wind DamageHydaburgReport of power poles snapped in half
FloodPetersburgFalls Creek near Petersburg crested at 22.53′ at midnight, just above minor flood stage
SnowAuke BaySnowfall report from near Auke Village Recreation area was near 14″

In addition to these storm reports, winds across Southeast have been gusting for the last 24 hours. Much of the Panhandle spent the day with winds in the 40 to 70 mph range, although there were a few reports of outstanding wind speeds. These winds likely lead to additional power outages through Southeast:

  • Juneau saw a 90 mph wind gust near the library around 7:30 p.m. Monday
  • Rocky Island reported a 103 mph gust Monday afternoon

While the greatest of the impacts has already been felt in Southeast, additional rain and winds through the day could lead to additional landslides or minor flooding. Southeast will spend much of Tuesday evening through Wednesday with just on-and-off showers, before heavier rain and winds return to the region for Thanksgiving Day.