Landslide buries Alaska Highway, video shows

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A landslide buried a roadway in Alaska with huge trees and debris, video shows.

The May 7 landslide blocked the only road to Lowell Point, a popular area for camping, whale watching and cabin accommodation.

Christel Arnold filmed everything.

Arnold was staying at a cabin in Lowell Point with a friend after the two went on a whale-watching trip “on a whim,” she told McClatchy News.

They were returning to their cabin from Seward, a nearby town, when they saw that the police had blocked the road.

A truck had been hit by a rock, she said, so a person in a front-end loader was working to clear the stones from the pavement.

As the two waited for the road to be cleared, the video shows the front loader in reverse.

Then someone is heard in the video saying “here it is” and the side of the mountain crumbles seconds later.

Huge trees, boulders and debris crashed into the roadway, narrowly missing the front loader, the video shows.

Arnold said she started running away from the landslide.

“Honestly, I was scared because it was a literal domino effect. These trees kept coming our way,” she said.

City declares state of emergency

Seward declared a state of emergency following the incident, according to a May 8 Facebook post.

No one was injured in the landslide, the city said, and utilities were not affected.

A water taxi service helped people move from side to side.

Arnold said she used the service to retrieve her belongings from the cabin before ending her trip early. And they were able to return their rental car because it wasn’t stranded at Lowell Point.

But those with cars and RVs at Lowell Point won’t be able to cross the road just yet, Arnold said.

The city assessed damage from the landslide on May 8, but did not release an update as of May 9.

Lowell Point is about 130 miles south of Anchorage.

This story was originally published May 9, 2022 3:38 p.m.

Helena Wegner is a McClatchy Live National Reporter covering Washington State and the Western Region. She holds a journalism degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She is based in Phoenix.

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