Deluge of rain causes mudslides in Kodiak

Posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2009

KODIAK - Kodiak has been hit with its second-rainiest day on record.

The 6.40 inches of rain Friday caused mudslides along Rezanof Drive and Anton Larsen Bay Road. The volume of the slides could have been deadly, however, no one was injured.

"We fortunately have not had any reports of injuries," said Alaska State Trooper Dennis Dupras. "Although, there have been plenty of near misses."

Anton Larsen Bay Road remains blocked. Alaska State Troopers were not sure when it will reopen.

The city's wettest day came on Halloween in 1991, when 7.44 inches fell. Mudslides during that inundation damaged five homes and forced 50 to be evacuated.

The mudslides on Rezanof began Friday afternoon, and shut off traffic completely by 9 p.m. Normal traffic did not resume until Saturday evening, although a few cars were allowed through on one lane Saturday morning.

Bell's Flats resident Karen Millstein left Kodiak at about 6 p.m. and was among the last cars to leave.

"There was water up to my hubcaps, and there were alder trees floating by," she said.

The worst damage occurred on Anton Larsen Bay Road. At the Bear Valley Golf Course, mudslides dropped a layer of rocks onto the first hole of the golf course. Farther up the road, heavy rains flooded a creek and waters crossed over the highway making it impassable.

Private homes were largely spared, but Kodiak roadways took a beating. The biggest delays came from damage on Rezanof Drive between the Coast Guard Base and the fairgrounds where multiple landslides blocked the road Friday evening through Saturday evening.

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