Crater Lake National Park closed by avalanche and heavy snowfall

A massive winter storm has forced officials to temporarily close Crater Lake National Park.

Oregon's only national park was pounded with heavy snow and high winds during the past few days, resulting in the uncommon closure on Tuesday of what's often called one of the "snowiest inhabited places in North America."

Numerous downed trees and a small avalanche prompted state officials to close Highway 62 from the south and west, halting travel on the only plowed roadway leading into the park during winter.

The park could reopen by Wednesday, but with another 16 to 26 inches expected, the exact reopening date remains dependent on conditions, officials said in a news release.

The avalanche occurred on Highway 62 when a snow layer 18 inches deep and 100 feet wide slid from a slope onto the roadway, officials said.

"Plow trucks were not immediately able to push through debris, and park staff continue to work to clear the road," the news release said.

For more information, contact the Crater Lake Visitor's Center at 541-594-3100 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. or visit www.nps.gov/crla.

Crater Lake currently has 99 inches of snow at park headquarters, which is 134 percent of normal for this time of year.

KGW


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