Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Winter Storm Causes Damage in Glacier National Park

A winter storm with very strong winds and large amounts of snow moved across Glacier National Park late Friday night. Park crews are assessing the impacts and damage from the storm.

Park access is limited at this time due to down trees and snow fall. The Apgar Visitor Center was closed through the weekend, and the Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed at the foot of Lake McDonald.

Visitor access is very limited, and visitors are encouraged to postpone their visit to the park, specifically through the West Glacier entrance, until access can be restored, and safety concerns are addressed.

Numerous trees fell on approximately 20 structures in the park housing area near park headquarters on the west side of the park. Six residence structures sustained structural damage, and one park employee family has been displaced from their home. A government vehicle was severely damaged from tree fall as well. No injuries have been reported.

The full extent of the impacts from the winter storm are unknown at this time. Park crews are prioritizing their response as there is damage due to tree fall, inaccessible roads due to snow, blowing snow and down trees, electrical power outages, and continued winter weather conditions.

Snow accumulation on the east side of the park is believed to be approximately two feet at St. Mary, and approximately 18-20 inches at East Glacier. Snow accumulations are high and blowing snow conditions are reported in the North Fork and Many Glacier areas as well.


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