A possible furnace malfunction at the St. Mary Visitor Center in Glacier National Park led to water damage when the center's sprinkler system was activated, forcing the temporary closure of the facility.
Park officials say rangers responded to an alarm from the visitor center about 4 a.m. Thursday. When they got there, they found water damage to the building and contents, as well as to some of the utilities. The extent of the damage was being assessed.
A visitor contact and information center is set up in the visitor center parking lot. Backcountry permits and aquatic invasive species (AIS) boat inspections are available at the Hudson Bay District Office located in the park administrative area in St. Mary. Signs near the park entrance were being posted to provide directions.
The park shuttle system and transportation services by Xanterra and Sun Tours were unaffected and operating as scheduled. The restroom facilities at the visitor center also were available.
There is no phone service at the St. Mary Visitor Center at this time. Visitors are encouraged to contact the park at 406-888-7800 for park information, or visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm.