Saturday, November 18, 2006

Glacier after the rains

NOTE: Update to this post at bottom...

The relentless rain and wind storms that wrecked so much havoc on Glacier Park last week are gone and the clean-up and repairs began before the roads were dry. Before anyone could completely assess the damage, there was speculation that the Going-To-The-Sun Road may not be ready in time for its traditional opening in May next season.

Damage to the park is estimate is at approximately $5 million, and most of that was on Sun Road. Repairs are under way on Going-To-The-Sun Road and in the Lake McDonald area. A number of washouts between Siyeh Bend and the East Tunnel involve areas were the road has been undercut and damaged. In one 100' section, both lanes of the road were completely carried away.

This is not the most ideal time of year to be facing such a job as high winds and heavy snow continues to hamper efforts. Park officials said emergency repairs on Sun Road will not interfere with scheduled reconstruction work that is planned for next summer.

So, although we don't yet have a definitive decision yet, people are optimistic that the road should be open near schedule (next spring). Due to these repairs and previously scheduled construction, there will be one lane delays as we saw last year. If you are planning a vacation to visit Glacier National Park next season... don't let a little rain spoil your plans. Come on up - visit Paradise!
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News Update

WEST GLACIER - “It could've been much worse,” Amy Vanderbilt, spokeswoman for Glacier National Park, said of the park's Nov. 7 flood. “We were lucky.” The image: In a narrow river canyon, flanked steep by icy walls of rock, debris is piled high, trees twisted and stripped of limbs, bark peeled away. The old horse bridge is splintered to rubble, railings blasted downstream, decking stripped, even the stout metal girders bent, mangled, pushed downstream by the onslaught. And again, the words: “We're moving ahead, and it's looking good,” said park superintendent Mick Holm. “At this point, it shouldn't impact our future schedules.”

The storm has passed.

The people are quickly rebuilding.

And the park, well, it hardly noticed.

Read this entire article from The Missoulian News

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