Yet Another November Storm Wallops Olympic National Park

A wet, windy storm pounded Olympic National Park on Tuesday, leaving behind roads closed by downed trees, floodwaters, and heavy snow.

Heading into the day the park was facing an approaching cold front that the National Weather Service predicted would bring rain, snow, and gusting winds. During the day park crews reported gusts to 90 miles per hour along Hurricane Ridge, where 28 inches of snow had accumulated. Early Tuesday evening park officials said a number of park roads were closed on the west side of Olympic while crews cleared roads blocked by downed trees and assessed damage. Some park roads, including the Graves Creek, North Fork and Upper Queets Road, had not yet been fully assessed for storm damage, the park reported.

Here's a summary of damage, as of Tuesday evening:

Hoh Road – The Hoh Road is closed at the park boundary as park crews are removing downed trees.

Quinault Valley –The North Shore Road is closed due to downed trees and electrical lines. The Graves Creek and the North Fork Roads are closed and have not been assessed yet. There is no electrical service along the north shore of Lake Quinault.

Queets Valley –The Lower Queets Road is closed due to water on the roadway and the Upper Queets Road has not been assessed for storm damage.

Hurricane Ridge Road – The Hurricane Ridge Road is closed due to snow. If weather conditions allow, the road is scheduled to be open on Friday, November 20, the first day of the winter road schedule. Park crews have been working on clearing two slide areas. One of the slides is blocking a culvert and the other is at the location of a previous slide near the Switchback Trail.

For current road information, call the park's recorded road and weather information line at 360-565-3131.

Recent years have seen potent fall storms strike the park. A storm back in December 2007, for instance, tore out sections of the Hoh Road and the Hurricane Ridge Road


Ah, the Great Northwet! Weather geeks may enjoy the graphics and discussion posted Nov. 17 by a noted UW professor:

I live in Olympia and go to Evergreen State College, so I live right on the border. Monday was the rainiest day of the whole fall so far. I went to Lake Cushman last Friday and it was really beautiful. I'm going to Kalaloch for Thanksgiving.