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Latest Update on Landslide – KSTK


Landslide Update for Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The ongoing efforts to recover from the November 20th 11-mile landslide in Wrangell, Alaska are making steady progress. The City and Borough of Wrangell has suspended the search for the last missing person, 12-year-old Derek Heller, after 15 days of exhaustive search efforts. The decision was made following the recovery of the body of Otto Florschutz on November 30th.

Since the disaster, a multiagency meeting took place on December 9th with representatives from many organizations, including the Alaska Disaster Assistance and Public Information Office, Alaska DHS&EM, DOT, and DGGS. Search and Rescue volunteers and K9 teams will continue with reactive searching if any new information or evidence leads to a specific search area in the future.

The community’s response to this tragedy has been resolute, and the tenacity and dedication of the volunteers and emergency responders involved have played a critical role in this search and rescue mission. Additionally, support from the surrounding communities and partner agencies has been unwavering and appreciated.

Although the community is facing a difficult time, the City and Borough of Wrangell is thankful for the resilience and commitment shown by the volunteers and responders. The community’s thoughts are with the relatives and loved ones of the missing individual during this period of grief.

For further information, individuals can contact the State of Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Public Information Officer, Jeremy Zidek at (907) 428-7077.