SUN AND SNOW – Snow evaporates off the roof of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Thursday. More late season snow mixed with rain  is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. Sunny weather is in the forecast for the first part of next week. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Task Force Winds Up With Limits Unsolved
12 Apr 2024 15:31

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Sitka Tourism Task Force reviewed a number of recomme [ ... ]

World Flyers Made Sitka Stop 100 Years Ago
12 Apr 2024 15:29

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Almost exactly a century ago, the engines of four modi [ ... ]

California Salmon Fishing Canceled for Second Year
12 Apr 2024 15:24

By RACHEL BECKER
Alaska Beacon
    In a devastating blow to California’s fishing industry, federa [ ... ]

Gov Claims Poll Backs His Education Policies
12 Apr 2024 15:22

By CLAIRE STREMPLE
Alaska Beacon
    Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said a poll shows there is strong su [ ... ]

House Rejects Making State PFD Guaranteed
12 Apr 2024 15:20

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    The Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a long-a [ ... ]

Arctic Center at UAA Broadens Its Mission
12 Apr 2024 14:37

By YERETH ROSEN
Alaska Beacon
When the federal government established an Arctic Domain Awareness Cente [ ... ]

April 12, 2024, Police Blotter
12 Apr 2024 14:01

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
April 11
At 2:14 a.m. a report was logged t [ ... ]

April 12, 2024, Community Happenings
12 Apr 2024 13:56

Card of Thanks
Dear Sitka, I would like to say thank you for the outpouring of love and support for t [ ... ]

Southeast Music Fest Opens with Festive Air
11 Apr 2024 15:49

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    High school musicians and directors from around South [ ... ]

Changes Made To Improve Recycling at Center
11 Apr 2024 14:11

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Recent changes in the collection of recyclable materia [ ... ]

Sitka Softballers Sweep All Rivals in Tourney
11 Apr 2024 14:10

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Opening the softball season strong at a tournament in  [ ... ]

House Adds, Subtracts In Amending Budget
11 Apr 2024 14:06

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    The Alaska House of Representatives has voted to provide state fu [ ... ]

SalmonState Criticizes AIDEA’s Loan Program
11 Apr 2024 14:05

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    An Alaska conservation group has released a new series of reports [ ... ]

Despite Quakes, Alaska Building Codes Shaky
11 Apr 2024 14:04

By YERETH ROSEN
Alaska Beacon
Sixty years after North America’s most powerful earthquake on record r [ ... ]

April 11, 2024, Police Blotter
11 Apr 2024 13:44

Sitka police received the following calls by 8 a.m. today:
April 10
A dog was reported running loose i [ ... ]

April 11, 2024, Community Happenings
11 Apr 2024 13:38

Big Rig Event
Set Saturday
For All Ages
All types of vehicles, food and activities are planned for the  [ ... ]

Home Health Receives Boost from Assembly
10 Apr 2024 15:08

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    After hearing testimony from a number of residents, t [ ... ]

Assembly to Question 2 Attorneys on Zoom
10 Apr 2024 14:23

By SHANNON HAUGLAND
Sentinel Staff Writer
    Two applicants for the Sitka city attorney position,  [ ... ]

Sitka Housing Summit Seeks Public Participation
10 Apr 2024 14:22

By Sentinel Staff
    Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Baranof Island Housing Authority and the city will be [ ... ]

Horan to Race Boston Marathon for Charity
10 Apr 2024 14:21

By GARLAND KENNEDY
Sentinel Sports Editor
    Years after running cross country and track at Sitka  [ ... ]

High School Music Fest Starts Thursday in Sitka
10 Apr 2024 14:18

By Sentinel Staff
    The Southeast Music Fest kicks off early Thursday, with hundreds of high sch [ ... ]

Wolves Sweep Opening Series
10 Apr 2024 14:17

KODIAK OPENER - The five seniors of Sitka High’s softball team pose for a shot after playing in  [ ... ]

City League VB Tournament
10 Apr 2024 14:14

By Sentinel Staff
    Playing the recreational division City League volleyball tournament, the Pac [ ... ]

House Seeks to Narrow Gap in Funding Budget
10 Apr 2024 13:19

By JAMES BROOKS
Alaska Beacon
    As the Alaska House of Representatives opened debate on the state [ ... ]

Other Articles

Daily Sitka Sentinel

Grant to Assess Sitka Landslide Risks

By SHANNON HAUGLAND

Sentinel Staff Writer

The Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys announced Tuesday that the agency has received funding for a comprehensive landslide hazard assessment of the Sitka area.

The landslide assessment, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will include landslide mapping and hazard modeling for about 25 square miles of Sitka, said De Anne S.P. Stevens, chief of the engineering geology section for DGGS.

It will cover the entire populated area of Sitka, including all of Harbor Mountain, the main part of Sitka, the Indian River Valley and out to Sawmill Cove, Stevens said.

“We’re hoping to do slope stability and landslide hazard analysis,” she said.

The interest in studying Sitka followed the Aug. 18, 2015, landslides here that killed three people on Kramer Avenue and caused about $1 million in damage, Stevens said.

The study will use the new lidar data set collected earlier this year under a partnership between the National Park Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory and DGGS, a division of the state Department of Natural Resources.

Lidar is a technology in which laser beams are used to measure the elevation of the ground.

“It allows us to generate a 3-D topographic land level map from which we can strip all trees and vegetation and look at what’s going on underneath,” Stevens said. “It’s incredibly useful for analyzing any sort of land surface process. Things like geomorphology ... looking at unstable slopes, old drainage channels. There’s a lot we can see.”

She said following the slides last year, there was a sudden recognition of “how imminent this sort of hazard is to the community.”

“It’s been known for a while that the area is prone to slides,” she said. She noted that soon after the slides, the U.S. Forest Service flew over the area and counted a total of 45 new slides that resulted from that day’s heavy rainfall on Chichagof and Baranof islands.

“This struck close to home – everybody’s hyper-aware we need to understand the hazard, especially in urbanized areas. ... We really need to take it seriously,” she said.

Stevens sent an email Tuesday to the Sitka Geohazards Task Force to inform the group of the news about FEMA funding. The Geohazards Task Force was organized by the Sitka Sound Science Center after the 2015 slides, and included scientists from a number of agencies in Sitka and from outside the community, Stevens said.

“... We at DGGS are eager to work with all of you to ensure the best possible analysis for the benefit of the safety and wellbeing of the community and people of Sitka,” Stevens said in the email.

She said the community has been supportive of learning more about the hazards. In April the Assembly passed a resolution in support of communitywide mapping.

Sitka hired the geotechnical firm Shannon and Wilson to complete a study of the south Kramer slide neighborhood, and asked for a preliminary assessment of the area above Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary, but City Administrator Mark Gorman said it makes more sense at this point to allow the DGGS work to go forward before more studies are done. 

“By doing it comprehensively it doesn’t highlight certain neighborhoods, which may disadvantage and impact land values,” he said today. “I think it’s more even-handed to do it all at once. ... It will be easier to accept the fact that there is an inherent risk whether you’re living at sea level or living on a hill. It’s more responsible approach to do a comprehensive look at the community, rather than piecemealing it out.”

Stevens said she is looking at a two-year time line to complete the studies, and the results will be shared with the public as they come out.

 

 

 

You have no rights to post comments

Login Form

 

20 YEARS AGO

April 2004

Photo caption: Grace Larson holds one of the Easter breads she baked for sale at the annual Rainy Day Bazaar Saturday at Centennial Hall. Hundreds turned out for the event, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Spouses and Women’s Association.

50 YEARS AGO

April 1974

All youngsters from walking age on up to age 12 are invited to an Easter egg hunt Sunday. Ages 5 and under meet at the Centennial Building; ages 6-9 in front of the visitor center at Totem Park; and ages 10-12 at Totem Park. Some $150 in cash and merchandise prizes will be offered.

Calendar

Local Events

Instagram

Daily Sitka Sentinel on Instagram!

Facebook

Daily Sitka Sentinel on Facebook!