Heavy rains in Alaska trigger flooding, mudslides; 6 people missing

Six people are reportedly missing after landslides in Alaska.

Heavy rains caused flooding, triggering mudslides in Haines, Alaska. Dozens of homes on the hillside are uninhabitable because of the incident, officials said.

“The whole side of the hill has come down,” Alekka Fullerton, Haines borough interim manager said.

Beach Road is inaccessible, and they haven’t been able to reach several people who live there.

“The problem is, it’s dark now, and it is still highly unstable,” Fullerton said.

The US Coast Guard, the Alaska National Guard and Alaska State Troopers are assisting in the search and rescue operation.

About 30 people have been evacuated as of Wednesday evening. The local Emergency Operations Center is asking local contractors to assist in locating heavy equipment to move debris out of the way.

“The potential for additional debris flows and landslides over the next 24 hours is high,” the borough government posted on Facebook.

More than 9 inches of rain fell on the Haines airport over 36 hours, National Weather Service meteorologist Gregg Spann said Wednesday evening, and another inch or inch-and-a-half is expected before the storm is over.

A flash flood watch was in place for the Haines area through Thursday morning.

Haines is on the Alaska panhandle, south of Skagway and about 75 miles north of Juneau.