The landslide pushed debris into the sea.
The landslide, in the island community of Wrangell, about 150 miles south of Juneau, swept a large section of the mountain to the ocean below, burying a highway in its path.
Rescue teams found the body of a girl during initial searches Monday evening, and the bodies of two adults late Tuesday.
Approximately 54 homes are cut off from the rest of the community as a result of the landslide. Between 35 and 45 people chose to remain in the area, according to interim borough manager Mason Villarma.
Provisions, including water, food, gasoline and prescription medications, are delivered to these residents by boat. According to Mr. Villarma, the only possible access to these residences is via the ocean.
Traditional Thanksgiving celebrations in the US state could be replaced by a vigil, according to Mason Villarma. In this way, the municipality can come together and recognize the tragedy and the deaths… but also the triumph of a small community which came together and which was capable of remarkable successes, in the face of adversity, he said. /p>
The Alaska Department of Transportation said on social media Wednesday that the highway cleanup process cannot begin until search and rescue efforts are complete. Nothing indicates, at the moment, when the portion of the highway swept away by the slide will be able to reopen.
Boat patrols are searching the waters near the landslide, which killed three people. Three other people are missing.
A woman who was on the second floor of a house was rescued on Tuesday. Her health condition is stable and she is receiving medical care. One of the three houses swept away by the landslide was unoccupied.
A geologist from the Ministry of Transport carried out a preliminary assessment of the terrain, due to the instability of the area. Sections have been cleared to allow research. But authorities warn that further slides could occur.
The landslide, approximately 137 meters wide, occurred during a rain and wind storm. The community of Wrangell received about two inches of rain Monday, with winds of more than 60 mph aloft, said Aaron Jacobs, a meteorologist and hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Juneau.
The search and rescue team is actively searching for an adult and two youths missing since the slide field, Monday.
A powerful weather system moving across southeast Alaska brought heavy snow to some places, a blizzard to the state capital, Juneau, and rain and some isolated flooding farther to the south.
The amount of rain that fell on Wrangell is not unusual, according to Aaron Jacobs, but strong winds may have triggered the landslide .
Water-saturated soils can fail when strong winds whip trees into mountainsides, says Barrett Salisbury, a Department of Natural Resources geologist.
Founded in 1811, Wrangell is one of Alaska's oldest non-Native settlements, when the Russians began trading with the Tlingits, according to a database of Alaska communities.
Indigenous people lived in this area for a long time before the arrival of the Russians, British and Americans, all of whom influenced the community of Wrangell.
With information from the Associated Press