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Heavy Storm Leaves Behind Avalanches


The aftereffects of last week’s brutal storm continue to pummel Glacier National Park, as avalanches sweep down on Going-to-the-Sun Road and highway experts study how best to repair a washed out section of the road.

Plowing crews returned to Logan Pass on Monday, finding fresh snow 8 to 12 inches deep, said park spokeswoman Amy Vanderbilt. Fifteen avalanches have buried sections of the road since last week’s storm.

After punching through slides Monday, crews were blasting unstable snow drifts and repairing a broken bulldozer Tuesday. Crews hope to survey the legendary Big Drift, just east of Logan Pass today, Vanderbilt said.

As plowing continues at Logan Pass, repair work on damaged sections of the scenic mountain road is being assessed.

Crews from the Federal Highway Administration and the Park Service were surveying damage Tuesday, particularly at a 60-foot-long washed out section on the west side of the Continental Divide.

Park spokeswoman Kristin Zwisler said cost estimates and design alternatives are being worked out and the park hopes to have an emergency contractor lined up next week.

She declined to give any forecast or target for when the road would open to Logan Pass on either side of the divide.

But she did say the park was open to summer visitors, with the exception of the road over Logan Pass. She said Going-to-the-Sun Road was open to Avalanche campground on the west side of the divide, and to Rising Sun on the east side of the divide. All facilities are open at Rising Sun.

On the west side, walkers and bicycles are allowed from Avalanche to Logan Creek. Vanderbilt said automobiles are being stopped at Avalanche, because it is easier for large numbers of cars to turn around there.

In the far northwest corner of the park, officials continued to assess damage from flooding by the North Fork of the Flathead River.

Tags: weather

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