The Forest Service has reopened Sitka’s Blue Lake Road after clearing a small landslide over the weekend.
The road leads to the city’s Blue Lake hydroelectric dam. A crew from the Electric Department discovered the slide on Friday morning (8-18-17) as they were en route to a routine inspection of the dam. Although the slide was promptly cleared, more material sluffed down the mountain later, as rains continued.
The road was closed to allow agency hydrologists to determine the extent of the hazard presented by the slide activity.
In a news release Tuesday (8-22-17) the Forest Service reports that the slide was approximately 40 feet long, and about 15 feet wide. Although it came down in an area that has previously suffered extensive slide damage, this small slide caused the road no harm.
The slide occurred on the second anniversary of a massive rain event in Sitka that brought down dozens of slides, including one that took the lives of three people.
The road remains closed to private vehicle traffic, but hikers are once again welcome. The Forest Service reminds users to be alert for heavy truck traffic during construction of the dam observatory area.