‘Monster’ landslide remains unstable, officials say

Trees and debris fall into Resurrection Bay during the Lowell Point landslide on Saturday
Trees and debris fall into Resurrection Bay during the Lowell Point landslide on Saturday(Photo courtesy Patrick Higgins)
Published: May. 8, 2022 at 1:41 PM AKDT|Updated: May. 8, 2022 at 1:44 PM AKDT
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SEWARD, Alaska (KTUU) - A Saturday evening landslide has blocked Lowell Point Road in Seward, and city officials say the area remains too unstable to begin clearing.

According to Seward City Clerk Brenda Ballou, officials with the city of Seward met with contractors from Metco Alaska to determine how the debris will be removed from the work. No timetable has been set at this time. A press release issued by the city asks residents to stay away from the road for their own safety as the landslide remains unstable.

“The work cannot begin until the area is safe and it remains unknown when that will be,” the release said.

Ballou said in an interview that large trees remain in the water near the slide. The U.S. Coast Guard has been notified and a boat advisory has been issued. Ballou said that approximately 200 people are residents of the area that has been cut off from vehicular travel, but that staff from Miller’s Landing in Seward are offering to shuttle residents and visitors on a boat.

“They did estimate that — just from the visual assessment they did — that it’s well over 40,000 cubic yards of debris,” Ballou said. “So it is a monster.”

Ballou said that the landslide occurred just north of a visible scar form a landslide from 2020. While the previous landslide was more narrow, Ballou said that the Saturday’s path was considerably wider than previous landslides.

“The concern is that we don’t know how much is up above that may still be in a tenuous position, you know,” Ballou said. “The area is cordoned off, the police are still manning it 24 hours, just to keep the public away.”

There are also tourists who are in the Lowell Point area that may have their vehicles stranded until the debris can be cleared.

“We’re just really happy that no one was injured,” Ballou said.

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