An Open Letter from the South Bay Community Association to the City of Thorne Bay Regarding the Landslide - P.O.W. Report

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

An Open Letter from the South Bay Community Association to the City of Thorne Bay Regarding the Landslide

Press Release
South Bay Community Association
January 7, 2019

South Bay Community Association, a social organization formed for the betterment of life for
the roughly 300 residents living on the south shore of the city of Thorne Bay and the industrial
area today announces:

On January 1st, 2019 a landslide covered the road between the main highway and the South
Thorne Bay subdivision, cutting off not only the 300 residents of this area, but the city and
village of Kasaan as well.

According to Dana Allison at the City of Thorne Bay, the city is putting some effort into the
bypass route because the main road is structurally unsound. Nothing is being done on the
Goose Creek to Kasaan highway. The city of Thorne Bay has declared a state of emergency.
Organized Village of Kasaan has two excavators working on the landslide. Equipment arrived
Monday morning on the bypass route. According to Kasaan employee Terrance Wilburn, work
was beginning in order to improve this road.

Snow that covers that road will close this route as it is 10 feet wide, with periodic pullouts,
making passing very dangerous, especially with snow making pullouts invisible. Due to the
state of the Lake Ellen road it will be extremely difficult to maintain and impossible to plow the

Southeast Island School District is attempting to bus children on this bypass road, which is

South Bay Community Association finds this reaction of our city to be unacceptable. Whether or
not the city is responsible for this road is an open question; none-the-less, our city claims this
road mileage for revenue sharing purposes. According to the financial statements released by
the city, it has the funds available to rent equipment and could have done this, clearing the
road from the north. Residents of South Thorne are dismayed by lack of community spirit and
the willingness of our city to look the other way at the risk of life to city residents.
On the positive side, South Bay Community Association extends our warmest thanks to the
power division of Alaska Power and Telephone Company, who worked immediately to start the
generator at Kasaan and backfeed power to the South Thorne Bay Subdivision. Alaska Power
had crews on sight immediately and, by working through the night, the South Thorne Bay
subdivision was reconnected to the Black Bear hydro power grid at 5:45 pm Saturday, January

Additionally, South Bay Community extends our deepest appreciation to the Organized Village
of Kasaan for their efforts to help clear the landslide and current work they have begun to
improve the alternate route.

The city of Thorne Bay incorporated in 1982; at that time the state Local Boundary Commission
drew a boundary around the logging camp and the homestead area which was formed in 1980,
providing resources for the community the state had created. These resources are substantial.
Since this time the city of Thorne Bay has taken the money and other resources, spending them
on the north side of Thorne Bay, while denying the relevance of the South Thorne Bay
subdivision and industrial area.

Eric L. Rhodes, Press Secretary
South Bay Community Association
PO Box 385
Klawock, AK 99925

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Read More: [UPDATE] Big Landslide in South Thorne Bay/Kasaan After New Years Storm

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