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By SAM ALLEN
Daily News Staff Writer
Power has been restored for all residents of South Thorne Bay after a landslide destroyed section of South Thorne Bay Road at about the 3-mile marker, wiping out an electric pole, breaking a transmission line and damaging insulators on New Year's Day.
The slide happened at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Cody Schwegel, power operations manager at the Alaska Power and Telephone company.
He said 195 people were affected by the outage. AP&T restored the power to the community of Kasaan within 15 minutes. About 125 Thorne Bay residents went without power until 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
"In total we lost two poles, one right in the middle and one in the far end (of the slide)," Schwegel said.
He said the landslide was devastating, about "100 yards across from the top of the mountain and it stops just before the ocean."
The company had a five-person crew working on installing a new transmission line and connecting it to the grid.
He said the Organized Village of Kasaan has taken a lead on the project, and is working with federal government for a plan to reconstruct the affected section of road.
Dana Allison, finance director of the City of Thorne Bay, said there was a detour around the landslide by road, but that the detour was a very rough old logging road.
Allison said the Organized Village of Kasaan sent people through the detour to mark it and clean it up.
The Thorne Bay City Council held an emergency meeting Wednesday, declaring the landslide a "Disaster Emergency" — the first step for affected communities to gain assistance from federal and state agencies.
According to the City of Thorne Bay website Thursday night, a U.S. Forest Service team is assessing the slide and will make recommendations soon. The City of Kasaan and Organized Village of Kasaan are assisting, according to the website.
Allison said it will be a while before the road is opened, as there isn't just a bunch of debris and rock on top of the road.
"The road is destroyed; it has been torn down," Allison said.