4 missing in Sitka landslide event

A sinkhole had opened up beneath a pair of propane tanks on Halibut Point Road. (Rebecca LaGuire, KCAW)

Four people are believed missing in a landslide that occurred in Sitka early this Tuesday morning.

Those missing were all likely involved in the construction of several new homes on Kramer Avenue. The slide in that area destroyed one of the new homes entirely, and damaged another.

Neighbors have reported a second slide on the northern end of Kramer Avenue, in an area that has not yet been developed.

Heavy rains triggered what now appears to be three landslides in Sitka in the early hours of the day. A slide across Sawmill Creek Road heavily damaged the administration building at Gary Paxton Industrial Park, but no injuries were reported. The building was evacuated, along with the Silver Bay bunkhouses.

Sawmill Creek Road remains closed beyond Whale Park.

The National Weather Service recorded over 2-and-a-half inches of rainfall in the six-hour period between 4 and 10 AM.

The flash-flooding prompted trail closures at Sitka National Historical Park. Flooding in the parking lot of the Sitka Laundry Center opened a sinkhole in the pavement. Two propane tanks on the edge of the sinkhole have since been removed.

Sitka Police and Fire departments are asking residents to please refrain from calling, as phone lines are needed for emergency communication. Also, there is no need for additional volunteer help at this time.