Roads to Rainier Closed by Flood Damage

DATE: 11/13/08

For Immediate Release-_
Contact: Lee Taylor 260-569-2211 ext.3303

Ashford, WA–Although the damage from this week’s flooding does not compare to the devastation of November 2006, roads all around Mount Rainier National Park are affected. The primary area of concern in the park is at Kautz Creek, where water covered the Nisqually Road road to a depth of 8 inches Wednesday. The creek diverted 600 feet above the road, leaving its channel and flowing along and over the road. Park crews installed sandbags and successfully removed water from the road surface Thursday. However Kautz Creek is now pounding against the road edge at a 90 degree angle, threatening further damage. Park staff will work to divert the Creek back into its previous channel on Friday. The Nisqually Road from the park entrance to Paradise will remain closed on Friday but park officials hope to reopen on Saturday.

On the east side of the park, SR 123 remains closed between Cayuse Pass and Stevens Canyon. The road is covered by debris or undermined in several locations. On SR 410 crews are working to clear a 100 foot-long landslide at milepost 74.5 east of Enumclaw. The road may be closed through the weekend. The Carbon River Road washed out at Milepost 6 outside the park. Approximately 200′ of both lanes is completely gone.

Overall it could have been a lot worse, and I am confident we will be able to repair the damage quickly, said Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga.