What happened at Mount Rainier?

  • THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Thursday, August 16, 2001 12:01am
  • News

The Associated Press

LONGMIRE — Melting glacier water continued to strip debris from a flank of Mount Rainier on Wednesday, sending car-sized boulders downstream and prompting rangers to close a popular trail.

A series of debris flows was triggered by unusually hot weather that caused the Kautz Glacier to pour water from its left side into a neighboring glacier’s valley, saturating loose glacial dirt and rock.

The sodden debris began to break loose Tuesday evening, sending millions of pounds of rock and mud down Van Trump Creek, and briefly closing the road to Paradise within Mount Rainier National Park.

“It looks like chunky concrete moving downstream — boulders the size of that porch,” said Steve Bailey, director of the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management, indicating a porch on a park visitor’s center at Longmire.

No one was hurt in either Tuesday night’s large debris flow or two smaller events around noon Wednesday. Rangers closed trails along the flow’s path after U.S. Geological Survey scientists spotted the fresh flows Wednesday.

Chief Ranger Jill Hawk had her staff round up hikers who had gone into the area to see the damage from Tuesday night. Several hikers were in the area of Comet Falls on Van Trump Creek — one of the most popular hikes in the park — when Wednesday’s flows came crashing through.

“It was a very exciting time for them — a lot of debris, dust, loud noise,” Hawk said.

This full report appears in today’s editions of the Peninsula Daily News. Or click onto “The Wire” to read the latest news from The Associated Press.

More in News

Photo Credit Leah Andrews
Fire District 3 firefighters battle a blaze in Sequim.
Sequim house fire confined to one room

Eight occupants evacuate safely

Bentinck range operations planned

The Royal Canadian Navy has announced that the land-based… Continue reading

Native plant workshop scheduled Wednesday

Joe Holtrop will present “Landscaping with Native Plants” from 4… Continue reading

Suggestions wanted for 2023 Clallam fair theme

The Clallam County Fair is soliciting suggestions for the… Continue reading

Fair royalty sought for 2023

The Clallam County Fair recently announced an application deadline of Saturday, Oct.… Continue reading

4H seeks members and volunteers

Events to offer information and sign-up

Naval training exercises planned next week

Naval Magazine Indian Island has a series of security… Continue reading

Rally in the Alley to dispose of unwanted items

The City of Sequim, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity… Continue reading

DNR getting ready to begin boat seizure process

Hole found in Eudora stranded on Ediz Hook

Most Read