Debris from a large landslide blocked 5 Mile Lutak Road for at least seven hours early Monday, but that wasn’t the half of it, said Matt Boron, Haines foreman for the Department of Transportation.

Boron estimates nearly two-thirds of the 1,000 cubic yards of debris that came off the mountain crossed the road and tumbled down an embankment on the opposite side. “We only had to move about a third of what came down. A lot of the material just went over the road by itself.”

Nearly four inches of rain that fell Saturday and Sunday apparently triggered the slide just north of the former sawmill site, scouring a section of mountainside about 200 feet long and 50 feet wide, taking with it large trees, boulders and mud.

The debris pile blocking the road was about 15 feet high and 100 feet wide when he arrived on scene, Boron said.

No one was hurt and no private property was damaged by the slide, which apparently came in the early hours and was reported to DOT at around 7 a.m. A crew using an excavator and loader cleared both lanes of the road by 1:30 p.m.

Boron said the hillside along that section of road is unstable and crews have become accustomed to clearing off slides with up to 50-100 yards of debris, including near the ferry terminal. “That whole area is under a constant state of erosion and cleanup if it’s raining hard. It’s a big, unstable mountainside. It just unravels.”

The slide site is a new one that will likely catch and funnel more debris from its edges, Boron said. “It will be another little issue for us. Every time it rains hard, things will be tumbling down.”

Resident Larry Beck, who worked as foreman at the Chilkoot Lumber mill, said he remembered another large slide just past the location of Monday’s. “The road is cut into the bedrock there, so when the ground gets saturated, there’s nothing to hold it up, and it all comes down.”

Hard rains during Thanksgiving week in 2005 washed away several sections of Lutak Road, including near 6 Mile, when culverts became plugged with debris. Larger culverts were installed following that storm and DOT crews had cleared those of debris in the fall, Boron said.

“We were pretty lucky. Everything was running really hard, but it hasn’t been moving much material, only water,” he said.

Boron said he dedicated just two pieces of equipment to the cleanup as other equipment was plowing snow near the border, where heavy snows have fallen. “It’s been pretty wintry up there.”

Resident Carolyn Weishahn, who lives at 39 Mile, estimated snow accumulation at her house at about four feet Tuesday.