City crews continued to focus Thursday (8-27-15) on removing debris from the Kramer Avenue landslide site, working on a cleanup that officials estimate could take a month or more.

But Deputy Fire Chief Al Stevens says that nine days after heavy rain caused at least seven landslides in Sitka, it’s time for responders to downshift.

“My marching orders to everyone is, let’s return to normalcy. Let’s try and do that,” Stevens said Thursday morning. “So that’s what we’re doing. We’re scaling down the emergency operations center. We still have to stay active because we do have people on site still. But we’re scaling things down.”

The remains of the last slide victim were recovered on Tuesday.

Despite a weather front that brought rain to the region on Thursday afternoon, Stevens said the Kramer Avenue site is now fairly stable. He said he would not ask for voluntary evacuations from the neighborhoods below the landslide. The only evacuations still in effect are for three homes on Jacobs Circle, which have been without water or power since the slides.

Stevens also planned to demobilize a specialized Coast Guard unit, the Pacific Strike Team, which was using a pump to try to drain water out of the slide site. He said so far the pump had not been as effective as hoped.

Meanwhile, the city and Forest Service have re-opened all of the roads affected by last week’s landslides, with the exception of Blue Lake road, which remains closed to the public.

A Forest Service team has also reported several other major slides in the region around Sitka, including on Halleck Island in Nakwasina Sound; in Salisbury Sound; and at Deadman’s Reach in Peril Strait.