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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
Even as rain continues to fall, Olympic National Park staff work to make damage assessments and re-open damaged roads where possible. Staff and engineers from the Federal Highway Administration completed initial inspections over the weekend.
“Initial estimates have reached $3 million for repairing the damage we currently know about,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner. “As we assess park trails, and with the forecast calling for continued rain and high winds later this week, we will likely see the repair bill go higher.”
The world-renowned Hoh Rain Forest remains inaccessible with no clear timeline for reopening. Within the park boundary, three sites along the road were severely damaged by floodwaters along several tributaries of the Hoh River.
The most significant damage occurred at West Twin Creek, where a 75-foot long and 25-foot deep section of road was completely washed away. At Taft Creek, five hundred feet of road were damaged; in some places less than one traffic lane of road surface remain. A logjam has diverted another tributary, causing it to flow over the Hoh Road rather than under it.
Additional damage occurred outside the park boundary and the road is still closed at Highway 101 while Jefferson County crews work to reopen the county’s section of road.
North Shore Quinault Road
High winds yesterday left the North Shore Quinault Road littered with an estimated 50 old growth trees that closed the road and caused a power outage throughout the Quinault, Amanda Park and Kalaloch areas. A park maintenance crew left Port Angeles at 1:00 this morning to lend assistance to the thinly stretched staff stationed at Quinault. Emergency access was restored by 9:00 this morning, allowing Public Utility District crews to begin repairs to downed and damaged wires.
Park crews will continue to work today to restore two traffic lanes from Highway 101 to Finley Creek Bridge. The bridge over Finley Creek was severely damaged last week; park crews hope to begin repairs on the bridge by tomorrow.
Quinault South Shore Road has been cleared and is passable. Debris remains along the road shoulders and the road surface is rough; caution is advised.
The North Fork Road at Quinault was damaged by flooding and remains closed; the North Fork Campground access road has been completely washed out. The Graves Creek Road remains closed.
The Hurricane Ridge Road is undamaged, but is closed today as a small crew begins snow removal. About 15 inches of snow fell over the weekend; more is expected today and tomorrow.
Dosewallips, Staircase and Queets Roads remain closed due to previous damage and unsafe conditions. The Deer Park Road is closed for the season.
All other park areas are open. Visitors are urged to use caution when traveling through the park and to come prepared for a variety of weather conditions, including high winds, heavy surf and heavy rain which are forecast for later this week.
For current road information, people should call the Olympic National Park recorded road and weather information line at 360-565-3131.