4 people missing after several landslides in Alaska

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

ANCHORAGE, AK -- A family friend says a city building official is among the four people missing Tuesday after landslides struck a southeast Alaska town.

The family friend, Peter Turner, says the missing official in Sitka is 62-year-old William Stortz. The Daily Sitka Sentinel first reported the identity.

Turner also says Stortz is the city fire marshal.

Emergency responders have said only that the missing people are believed to be workers at a residential construction site. Sitka fire spokeswoman Sara Peterson says a search has not yet started because of the instability of the site.

The landslides occurred Tuesday morning after 2 1/2 inches of rain fell in 24 hours. One sinkhole also was reported.