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Glacier National Park's St. Mary Compound Area Open

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Date: August 17, 2006
Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895

WEST GLACIER, MONT. –Officials at Glacier National Park report that the evacuation order which was issued yesterday for employees in the park’s compound and housing areas in St. Mary has been lifted. The St. Mary Visitor Center is open and oversized vehicles restrictions have also been lifted. Loop A of the St. Mary campground has also reopened.

Despite yesterday’s flash flood warning that was issued by the National Weather Service, no flooding has occurred. A flash flood watch, which had been issued through 6 p.m. today, has been cancelled.

The potential for flash flooding to occur from a heavy rain event in this area has greatly increased due to the loss of vegetation and the reduced ability of the soil to absorb water following the Red Eagle Fire. Divide Creek poses the greatest flash flooding potential. Banks along Divide Creek are very unstable and susceptible to landslides during heavy rains at this time which could cause damming of the creek and a more severe flash flood event. A burned area emergency response (BAER) team is currently in the area assessing the situation. The BAER team evaluates potential threats to life and property. Once a plan is approved by the park, the Blackfeet Tribe, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, short-term emergency stabilization and rehabilitation work will begin.

Did You Know?

Jackson Glacier

If current trends continue, some scientists predict that by the year 2030, Glacier National Park will not contain any glaciers and many of the park's smaller glaciers will melt even sooner.