Friday afternoon in Sitka was dreary but there weren’t any downpours. That will change this weekend — the National Weather Service predicts around six inches of rain in the Sitka area over the next three days. (KCAW/Rose)

After last week’s torrential downpour that caused at least one landslide, Sitkans are preparing for another major rain event this weekend.

“We’ve got some very active weather moving through,” said Peter Boyd, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Juneau. “We actually have two systems that are going to be impacting the area.”

Boyd said the first, slightly weaker system arrives Friday evening (10-30-20) with around two to three inches of rain and breezy winds. He said there may be a break in the rain later on Saturday afternoon into the early evening, providing some respite for Halloween trick-or-treaters. Then a stronger system moves in Saturday night. 

“This one will also be a very wet system. We might be seeing an additional three to four inches, possibly five inches of rainfall occurring,” he said. “We’ll start to see wind gusts at least up to 40 miles per hour.”  

Last weekend’s rainfall event caused a landslide on Blue Lake Road, and forced the city to temporarily switch from the primary water source at Blue Lake to storage tanks, due to high turbidity in the water. Turbidity is the level of “cloudiness” in the water — high levels of turbidity can render water undrinkable.

The city switched back to water storage tanks on Thursday night, and is asking Sitkans to conserve drinking water until further notice. And Friday evening, the Forest Service is shutting down access to Blue Lake and Harbor Mountain Road, due to high landslide potential.