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Geologic Publications for Mount Rainier

The flood of 2006: 2007 Update

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Author(s): Alison B. Bullock, Kevin Bacher, Jill Baum, Tricia Bickley, Lee Taylor

Document Type: Unpublished Report
Publisher: Mount Rainier National Park
Published Year: 2007
Pages: 43
DOI Identifier:
ISBN Identifier:

On November 6-7, 2006, Mount Rainier National Park (MORA) was inundated with 18 inches of rainfall in a 36 hour period. The rain unleashed raging torrents of water in rivers and streams and landslides of mud and rock. All park visitors and most employees evacuated from the park Monday, November 6. By the time the water receded, park roads were impassable, power and water systems were out, and some campgrounds had literally disappeared from the map. The park would be forever changed.

The flood was a natural event unlike any other that has been recorded in Mount Rainier National Park’s 108 year history. Mount Rainier has experienced many other floods and mudflows that have changed the natural landscape and threatened the security of structures. None of these events left the park without utilities and roads, a safe entry corridor or removed campgrounds throughout the four corners of Mount Rainier as the November 2006 flood did. Damage to the park resulted in an historic six-month closure of the park.

One year later, the park is still recovering. Following the initial emergency response to the flood, the park’s primary focus became re-establishing access to the park and restoring the park’s utility infrastructure. Road repairs began immediately on the Nisqually Road, and utility crews worked to restore severed utility lines, commercial power, phones, sewer systems and water to the park. Throughout the winter months, repairs continued and on May 5, 2007, six months after the flood, the park celebrated the opening of the gates to visitors once again.

The summer was filled with healing as volunteers came by the hundreds to help rebuild the park. Backcountry assessments conducted once the snow melted revealed damages throughout the park’s trail system. Each passing day, more and more recovery projects were completed as the park continued to reopen areas to visitors.

The road ahead looks a little brighter for 2008. Silver linings are abundant throughout the park as partnerships and volunteer support are stronger than ever. The breadth of projects yet to be completed gets smaller each day.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Bullock and others (2007) or (Bullock et al., 2007)

References Citation:
Bullock, A.B., K. Bacher, J. Baum, T. Bickley, and L. Taylor, 2007, The flood of 2006: 2007 Update: Unpublished Report, Mount Rainier National Park, 43 p..