Senator Lisa Murkowski traveled to Wrangell on Wednesday, Dec. 20 to look at the site of the town’s recent deadly landslide. While in town, she met with the fire department’s search and rescue team to talk about the town’s response to the landslide and how Wrangell can stay safe moving forward. She also met with family members of the landslide victims and with Christina Florschutz, who is the sole survivor.
Murkowski said she was impressed by the dedication of the Wrangell Search and Rescue team as they described their teamworkafter November 20th’s fatal landslide.
“It was actually quite inspirational to be listening to those who were on the ground, literally hours after this slide in the dark, in very, very tentative conditions,” Murkowski said.
Murkowski was born in Ketchikan and grew up in several Alaskan towns, including Wrangell. She said she considers Wrangell home and she feels grief for the Wrangell community.
“It just hurt to look up the first glimpse of that scar on the mountain,” she said. “It was like just a cut through the body, to see that and to know the devastating impact and the loss.”
She said although the search may be over, the community will continue to face challenges, like anxiety, together. She said it’s important for her to continue to connect with people in Wrangell after they’ve been through so much.
“I just left Washington last night after votes and purposefully said I’m stopping here because I want the people of this community to know that they are not alone,” Murkowski said.
She said people in Wrangell are resilient and they’re used to doing it on their own, but people are stronger when they work together. She also said that she will continue to work with the people of Wrangell as they heal from their loss.