Mount Rainier Storm
A weekend Mount Rainier storm is anticipated to cause significant damage at the park. Source: mountrainierflood.blogspot.com

Mount Rainer Superintendent Randy King announced in a press release Friday that the National Park was expecting severe weather over the weekend and that evacuations could be necessary. According to King, the park anticipated 12”-15” of rain in 48 hours with snow falling in the higher elevations.

The rain was expected to cause possible flooding on rivers with the potential of dangerous debris flowing down the fast moving water. High winds were anticipated to knock down trees and cause power outages that could delay emergency services. Due to the possible dangers and anticipated clean-up, the park made several emergency closures.

Mount Rainer spokesman Kevin Bacher said the park received around 13″ of rain over the weekend and 11″ of snow fell at Paradise.  The Carbon River hit moderate flood stage, but waters subsided quickly.  Bacher said the park did experience some downed trees and slides as is common with a storm of this magnitude.

Mount Rainier Storm
The park has been hit hard by wind and water damage in recent years. Source: mountrainierclimbing.blogspot.com

The storm comes at the end of the full access driving season at Mount Rainier. Because of the timing and anticipated storm damage, park officials are ending the seasonal driving access to Mowich Lake and the Sunrise/White River Road. Visitors to the park are asked to respect closure signs and barriers. Backcountry camping permits were not issued over the weekend and car camping was not permitted in the park. Visitors are encouraged to contact the park at 360-569-2211 for updates on road conditions and restrictions.

Mount Rainier Storm
Park visitors are asked to respect closure signs and barriers. Source: mountrainierflood.blogspot.com

No driving, biking, or hiking in these areas until further notice:

  •  Westside Road
  •  Sunrise and White River Campground Roads, closed at the junction with SR410
  •  Carbon River Trail, entrance to Ipsut Creek
  •  Mowich Lake Road, beyond the Paul Peak vehicle barricade

Mount Rainier National Park also highlights that effective Monday all vehicles (including 4WD) will be required to carry tire chains when traveling the Nisqually Road to Paradise. Park officials warn that road conditions can deteriorate quickly at any time and mandatory chain use may be required even for 4WD vehicles. Tire chains are available at the Summit House in Ashford and at the National Park Inn in Longmire.

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