The Organized Village of Kasaan Responds and Clarifies Regarding the New Year's Landslide - P.O.W. Report

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Organized Village of Kasaan Responds and Clarifies Regarding the New Year's Landslide

January 9, 2019

In response to the Press Release written by the South [Thorne] Bay Community Association to P.O.W. Report on January 7th, 2019, the Organized Village of Kasaan (OVK) would like to clarify incorrect information that was stated.

Regarding the OVK having two excavators working on the landslide, the OVK had one excavator present & the City of Thorne Bay had one excavator present to only assist AP&T as they ran temporary power lines across the slide. Also, to date the OVK has not ran any equipment across or done any work on the Ellen Lake road, aside from flagging & coning the route for safety. A main portion of the Ellen Lake road is Mental Health Trust Land. The OVK established an agreement with Mental Health Trust to allow for improvements on the Ellen Lake bypass road which include brushing the roadway for line of sight & safety, ditching a few areas, reworking & capping the roadway where sinkholes and water bars exist & also requesting to utilize a rock source located at 2.8 mile coming from Tolstoi side, or reclaiming a road closer to the location of the water bars. As the Ellen Lake road is private property, until the OVK gets approval for the road improvements from Mental Health Trust, no improvements will be done, weather permitting for safety. This is a 30 day agreement with Mental Health Trust & the OVK will submit a new agreement at the end of the 30 days. The OVK should have an answer from Mental Health Trust before the end of the week.

After a preliminary assessment it was discovered the landslide is 1,214 feet in length, goes from sea level to 722 feet in elevation and at the widest point where the road used to be at is 183.6 feet. There is between 1600-2000 cubic yards of material on the road, including logs, boulders that may be too large to move, mud and other debris. Until we can move the debris we have no idea what is left of the road, if anything at all. Just pushing the debris off the road as some suggest is not an option as there is the Thorne River Estuary and salmon stream directly below. The material will need to be hauled to a suitable waste site. Up above the road there is still 1,500 – 2,000 cubic yards of massive boulders and debris with water running underneath that will likely all come down with the next rain event. This is a huge public safety issue; a permanent fix would be to create a barrier to catch any material coming down. Because of the complexity of this landslide, as of now, March is the earliest estimation for the Goose Creek-Kasaan Road to open.

The OVK would like to thank the residents of Kasaan & South Thorne Bay for their patience & understanding on the landslide cleanup. The OVK, the City of Thorne Bay, the City of Kasaan & AP&T have been working diligently to coordinate efforts to restore power & open the road.

Incident Commander/OVK D.O.T. Director

Sara Yockey

[Find the Kasaan press release here]

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