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Sitka Disaster Declaration moves to gov’s office

The City of Sitka has officially declared a Disaster Emergency, following the August 18 storm with brought seven landslides down in the community, and killed three people.

Weather expected to halt landslide recovery effort

National Weather Service Meteorologist Joel Curtis (left) spoke with reporters Friday, along with DOT geologist Mitch McDonald and Deputy Fire Chief Al Stevens (right). (Robert Woolsey, KCAW)Search teams in Sitka were racing the clock today, as they worked to find the third victim of Tuesday’s landslide before a new storm arrives tonight. Heavy rain and wind is forecast this weekend, which officials worry will make it unsafe for crews to work.

Memorial fund established for Diaz brothers

Elmer (l.) and Ulises Diaz were painting in the house destroyed by a landslide in Sitka Tuesday. The volunteer crew that recovered their bodies included teammates and former coaches from Sitka High School. (GoFundMe photo)Officials have released the names of the two landslide victims recovered on Wednesday and Thursday. They have been identified as brothers Elmer and Ulises Diaz, ages 26 and 25.

Two bodies recovered in Sitka slide, search continues for third

Recovery crews halt work while a trained cadaver dog scents the site where the body of 62-year-old William Stortz is thought to be located. A previous dog alerted at the location of the green stake in the center of the image. (KCAW photo, Robert Woolsey)Search crews have recovered two bodies from the Kramer Avenue landslide in Sitka. One man remains missing but crews are focused on an area identified by search dogs. Officials hope to recover all three bodies before heavy rain predicted Friday.

Red Cross coordinates feeding of Sitka’s landslide army

150820_BillWalker_waldholzA small army of people is working on recovery efforts following Tuesday’s landslides in Sitka. And as any general knows, an army marches on its stomach.

Crews focus on likely site of third slide victim

With two bodies already recovered from the Kramer Avenue landslide, crews are focusing their full efforts Thursday afternoon (8-20-15) on locating the body of 62-year-old William Stortz, Sitka's building official.

With more rain on the way, recovery work intensifies at Sitka slide

Jeremy Zidek, spokesperson for Homeland Security, briefs the media Thursday morning in Sitka. National Weather Service incident meteorologist Joel Curtis (center), and incident commander Al Stevens (right), were preparing for more rain on Friday.The National Weather Service is predicting more rain in Sitka, with two to three inches falling Friday night, and some gusty winds. But the risk of more slides is limited.

Second body recovered from Sitka landslide

Search crews recovered a second body from the Kramer Avenue landslide in Sitka, at about 12:40 pm today (Thu 8-20-15), near the location of the first body, which was found at 7:15 yesterday evening (Wed 8-19-15). Neither name has been released pending notification of next of kin.

Walker visits Sitka as search continues for 3 missing men

Gov. Bill Walker (right) and Sitka Mayor Mim McConnell visited the site of the Kramer Avenue landslide on Wednesday, August 19. (Rachel Waldholz, KCAW)Gov. Bill Walker was in Sitka today to assess the damage from Tuesday's landslides. He also met with the families of three men who are missing and presumed dead. The search for those three men was proceeding slowly, hampered by fears of further landslides.

Slide survivor: ‘Trees were falling like dominoes’

City engineer David Longtin is back working at the landslide that nearly overtook him Tuesday. Longtin is not totally at ease -- "I'm keeping my eye on it," he says. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)Although it will never be considered anything other than a tragedy, Sitka's Kramer Avenue landslide could have been worse. At least two other people were directly in its path -- but escaped.