Storm and flood damage in North Cascades
Contact: Charles Beall, 360 856-5700 ext.365
North Cascades National Park Service Complex Flood Damage Summary
Widespread flooding across western Washington has also impacted the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Park officials spent Wednesday surveying the damage and have learned of three significant damage sites.
The Colonial Creek Campground is closed due to flooding from Rhode Creek which has strewn debris across the campground entrance and has also developed new meanders through several campsites. The Cascade River Road is closed at the El Dorado parking area due to a wash out between El Dorado Creek and the North Fork Bridge.
The Stehekin Valley Road suffered damage at McGregor Meadows and is washed out at Eight Mile. "We’ve been through this before – as recently as this spring, and the increasing frequency of these events concerns me," responded Park Superintendent Bill Paleck when asked about the floods. "We are fortunate, however, to have a competent staff of professionals that will work hard to minimize negative impacts that the flooding may have on park visitors and residents." But, the extent of the damage is not fully known at this time.
Park officials will wait until the next forecasted series of storms passes through the area this weekend before conducting a comprehensive survey, which will require good weather and a helicopter. It is uncertain at this time what damage may lie further up both the Cascade River and Stehekin Valley Roads and on the backcountry trails. It has been confirmed, however, that some important structures did survive the floods, such as the new Thunder Creek Bridge installed after the previous one washed away in the 2003. "Although we are not overall certain of the damage, we are pleased that no one was hurt and that no private property suffered extensive damage," concluded Paleck.