View a Daily Dispatch
Any charges reported in these press releases are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Update 12/7: The Alaska State Troopers has suspended active search operations for David Simmons, age 30 of Haines and Janae Larson, age 23 of Haines due to continued rain and the likelihood of additional landslides in the area. Ground searchers deployed to Haines with the Troopers departed the area today aboard the P/V Enforcer. An Alaska State Trooper Sergeant from Juneau will remain in Haines to coordinate with the incident commander and Haines Borough Police Department on the ongoing disaster relief efforts. If new information or evidence is located Troopers will reevaluate search efforts at that time. The Alaska Department of Public Safety has added Simmons and Larson to the Alaska Missing Persons Clearinghouse list.
Update 12/4/20: Search efforts continue today for David Simmons, age 30 of Haines and Janae Larson, age 23 of Haines, that went missing on 12/2/20 after a landslide swept through the area where they lived.
Alaska State and Wildlife Troopers are participating in search and rescue efforts along with the US Coast Guard, Alaska National Guard, National Weather Service, Capital City Fire/Rescue, Juneau Mountain Rescue, SEADOGS, Haines Volunteer Fire Department, and Haines Borough Police Department. The slide area is currently unstable, so no active ground search is occurring until geologists arrive on scene today and assess the risk. SEADOGS searched the toe of the debris field via boats this morning. The Alaska Guard UH-60 Black Hawk responded to Haines with two NWS forecasters to assist with search efforts. An SUAS (drone) will be deployed today to assist with mapping the slide area and looking for clues of missing individuals. Debris is scattered around the coast and in the bay. The weather has consisted of heavy snow this morning that has since turned to rain. Updates to follow.
Update 12/3/20: AST has confirmed that two people are still missing, all others have been located safe. Rescue crews from Juneau have arrived in Haines and others will be arriving throughout the day. State of Alaska DNR geologists are traveling to the area today to help ascertain the risk of searching the mudslide. Updates to follow.
Update: The landslide has been determined to be on Beach Road extension. At this time, there are six people unaccounted for and four houses have been destroyed. There is approximately nine feet of mud and trees covering the area. SAR operations have been suspended for the evening due to rumbling unstable ground. Juneau based AWT, AST, Juneau Mountain Rescue, SEADOGS, and Capital City Fire Department medics will be departing tomorrow morning on an Army Guard helo for Haines to assist in coordinating SAR efforts and providing valuable resources. Severe turbulence currently prohibits the guard helo from conducting operations. The AWT P/V Enforcer has been diverted to that area to assist and should arrive tomorrow mid-day. Updates to follow.
On 12-02-20 at approximately 1350 hours AST was notified of a major landslide on Battery Hill in Haines. It is believed that at least one house has been destroyed and people are missing. The Alaska Wildlife Trooper from Haines is on scene assisting with evacuating people utilizing the local AWT Vessel. Search and Rescue efforts are currently being coordinated. SEAdogs and JMR 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 the border and the airport. The Statewide Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) 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. Updates to follow.
Posted on 12/2/2020 2:53:59 PM by DPS\tjdespain