It won't happen overnight, but progress is being made in removing the mud and muck that swept into Stehekin at North Cascades National Park a week ago. Still, some vehicles covered by the mud-and-rock slide might not be recoverable before snow flies.
Park Service crews and contractors have opened one lane of the Stehekin Road, allowing local businesses to remain open and visitor access on up valley to road’s end near Car Wash Falls.
Removal of the debris flow to fully open the Stehekin Road, and to restore Imus Creek to its natural channel, is continuing. Completion of this initial phase is expected by the end of the month, park officials said.
Workers will then begin clearing access to the upper parking area so vehicles can be recovered, if there are no hazardous materials associated with the damaged/buried vehicles. It is not expected that these vehicles will be accessible before winter snows cover the area. For the few vehicles currently free of the slide, owners will be notified to remove them as the space is needed for clean-up operations.
All National Park Service operations, including the lodge, store, and Golden West Visitor Center are open and operating normally. Local businesses are also operating normally except Discovery Bike rentals, which will not be renting until 2014. For local private business information, please contact Stehekin Reservations at the Fly Fishing Shop (509) 682-7742.