Severe weather at Glacier impacts workers, tourists

WEST GLACIER, Mont. - In Glacier's high country near Sperry Chalet and the area around it, there's so much snow falling right now that crews stopped trying to plow out Going-to-the-Sun Road.

On the east side, Saint Mary Campground closed. We learned 10 campers moved out before standing and running water and debris forced workers to close it down.

Officials are sandbagging around administrative buildings there and pre-evacuation planning is underway for the 30 to 40 workers at the Many Glacier Hotel area.

Tourists are advised to stay out of the north fork area.

The following is a press release from Glacier spokesperson Denise Germann:

St. Mary Campground Closed due to standing and running water, and debris from Wild Creek and other run-off water. There were approximately 10 campers at the St. Mary Campground last night, and all left this morning on their own, prior to campground closure.

Access to the Kintla Lake area closed at the head of Big Prairie - 7 miles north of the Polebridge Entrance in the North Fork District of the park. Travel in the North Fork area of Glacier National Park is not advised at this time. There is standing water in several areas.

Red Eagle Lake Trailhead, near the 1913 Historic Ranger Station near St. Mary is closed.

Sand bags were deployed in the administrative area of St. Mary on the east side of Glacier National Park, responding to rising/flooding Divide Creek.

Pre-evacuation planning underway for the St. Mary area of National Park Service administrative and housing areas (approx 30-40 people), and for the Many Glacier Hotel area. No evacuations have been initiated at this time!

No work is being conducted on plowing the Going-to-the-Sun Road at this time. Crews moved plowing equipment to lower locations yesterday as snow began to fall and more snow was predicted.

NPS employees are at Sperry Chalet conducting preparation activities and report 14-16 inches of snow since Tuesday morning. It was snowing again this morning at Sperry Chalet. Photos attached! Sperry Chalet is located on the west side of the park, near the Continental Divde.

Park personnel continue to montitor and access the situation across the park, making preparations in the event of any evacuations and staging equipment to respond as needed. Park personnel are in regular communication with the National Weather Service. All visitors are encouraged to use caution during this time of increased mositure.

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