SITKA, Alaska — With rain on the horizon, the U.S. Forest Service has decided to keep Blue Lake Road closed in Sitka.

The road was closed on Friday due to a landslide, The Sitka Sentinel reported (http://bit.ly/2wudpZN ).

District officials are being cautious because of expected rainfall, Tongass National Forest spokesman Paul Robbins Jr. said.

“There’s been a lot of rain over the weekend in Sitka and there’s more coming,” Robbins Jr said. “It’s really complicating the issue.”

There is no current estimate of when the road will reopen, The U.S. Forest Service stated.

Meteorologist Bob Tschantz said heavier showers are expected on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The National Weather Service in Juneau is estimating Sitka’s lower elevations will get 2 to 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) of rainfall through Friday night and the higher elevations will get 2.5 to 3.5 inches (9 centimeters).

City officials issued a public service announcement on Friday alerting the public to the closure.

“Our number one priority is public safety,” Robbins Jr. said.

The landslide on Friday happened on the two-year anniversary of a series of Sitka landslides triggered by heavy rainfall that killed city building official William Stortz and two brothers, Elmer and Ulises Diaz, who were inside a house that was destroyed by the slide.


Information from: Daily Sitka (Alaska) Sentinel, http://www.sitkasentinel.com/

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