Breaking: Haines flooding, roads washed out, rescue under way, people missing - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, December 8, 2021
HomeThe 907Breaking: Haines flooding, roads washed out, rescue under way, people missing

Breaking: Haines flooding, roads washed out, rescue under way, people missing

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Update, 4:20 pm: The U.S. Coast Guard is sending help to Haines, after major landslides and road washouts.

“At this point we are aware that damage has occurred in the town of Haines following the report of multiple landslides in the borough,” said Capt. Stephen White, commander Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “The scope of the damage is unknown at this time but we are proactively moving several assets and personnel to provide assistance to local first responders and the residents who may have been impacted by the landslides.”

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka has been launched to assist and the crews of the Coast Guard Cutters Liberty and Anacapa have been ordered to make preparations to sail to Haines. A Coast Guard Station Juneau 45-foot Response boat crew has also launched.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Juneau were contacted by the Haines Borough Police Department at 1:36 p.m. of the damage and began launching assets at 1:45 p.m.

Update, 3:40 pm: On Tuesday at 1:50 pm, troopers learned of a major landslide on Battery Hill in Haines. One house is destroyed and people are missing. The Alaska Wildlife Trooper from Haines is on scene assisting with evacuating people utilizing the local Trooper vessel.  Search and Rescue efforts are currently being coordinated. SEAdogs and Juneau Mountain Rescue have been activated and efforts are being made to get a helicopter out of Juneau to transport the teams to Haines, as the town is cutoff from both the border and the airport.

The Statewide Emergency Operations Center is working on sheltering and other disaster aspects. AST is working with many government and non-government partner agencies to coordinate logistics for getting the people in Haines the help they need.

Original story:

Many Haines residents are seeking higher ground tonight as waters rise due to torrential rains, and as streets wash out and sinkholes are appearing.

Haines police are using boats to evacuate residents along Beach Road and Lutak Spur Road, where residents were told to head to the beach and shine their flashlights so the rescue boat can see them.

Police advised people not involved with rescue to stay away from Beach Road, and advised people who could to leave the area immediately.

Alaska State Troopers are involved in rescuing stranded residents of from the beach before daylight is lost. There’s one wildlife Trooper in the area.

Those living along Young Road, Mathias Avenue to Picture Point are being advised to conserve water.

In Juneau, areas of Mountainside Estates have been flooded as a severe atmospheric river moves through the region. Haines has received up to 10 inches of rain in the past two days, similar to weather being seen from Ketchikan north. Pelican received a foot of rain, and Hoonah received 10 inches; all are experiencing flooding and washouts.

A state of disaster can typically be triggered at the state level once the local government requests it.

Photo from social media / source unknown.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • And all the Branch Covidians will tell us: See, this is what happens when you don’t wear your mask!

    • Jefferson,
      I must admit my first thought was “this is what a true emergency looks like”.
      Way different than nurses with face shields sticking swabs up your nose.
      Best of luck to all those involved in the search & rescue operations down south.

    • Nice stab at a sense of humor that has nothing to do with this tragedy.
      I fail to see any humor in it.

      • Ben, the fact that you find no humor in my quip is probably due to the fact that you are one of those uptight, self-righteous leftists who cannot find humor pretty much anywhere. Unless of course it involves snark directed at President Trump. I have observed that having a sense of humor is inversely proportional to one’s level of self-righteousness.
        PS: I should add that I made my quip before the full extent of this disaster in Haines was known, particularly, before anyone was reported missing. Had I known all that at the moment, I would probably not have made the comment in the first place.

      • Never heard of gallows humor, apparently. Its quite common in the military and aviation, a way to mitigate the shock and pain. But as long as denigrating it makes you feel morally superior, who am I to argue?

        In the flying world, you can tell how awful the accident was by how quickly after the accident the jokes started. Longer generally means worse and more shocking. It took about 0+30 after Challenger blew in 1986 for the NASA jokes to start. Cheers-

    • Jefferson, this is easily the worst comment of the day. Hope to see you back in the real world soon.

      • Tom, I am sorry that you have such a thin skin and no sense of humor, not to mention a lack of reading comprehension that would allow you to understand that I was NOT in any way making light or fun of the situation in Haines. Snowflake much?

  • None of this is funny guys. People are dead and missing. While your sitting here trash talking things that have zero to do with any of it. Is this how you act during an emergency just because you aren’t there? That in itself is alarming. I pray your family never sees a random emergency. If you can’t say anything nice or even respectful please restrain yourselves from making terrible comments. Good Lord.

    • Before rushing to judgment, Karaboo, you should first know that I made my original comment here well before the full extent of the disaster in Haines was known or reported. Secondly, you should try to realize that I was not in fact making light of the situation in Haines, but mocking all the Branch Covidians’ hair-on-fire screechings and demands for the (ineffective and largely idiotic) universal public wearing of masks.
      But of course, those with the most (misplaced) self-righteousness never let anything get in the way of their kneejerk condemnations of others.

    • Karaboo, nobody said that this situation in Haines is funny, and I resent you suggesting as much. Please reread my original post here, and you will clearly see that it is not mocking anything happening in Haines, but the hair-on-fire hysteria and ignorance of the rabid must-maskers.

  • This is awful. Praying for affected families and community.

  • Prayers to the beautiful people and town of Haines … ?????

  • My prayers and hopes to the people of Haines.

  • I grew up in Haines and this is the most devastating thing to ever happen. I am so sorry for the lost. Please take care of yourselves!

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