Saturday, November 11, 2006

SNOW... and more flood damage photos

In the newspapers, NPS officials predict road openings as late as Christmas, but cautiously hope it will happen sooner. At this time, it's difficult to tell just how long it will take to get things ready. Another complication is the ongoing Paradise construction project. The contractors had planned to work continuously this Fall and this isn't helping. In the meantime, I'm cheering for the road, electric and water treatment crews who are hustling to get things reopened.

It snowed in Longmire Friday night. It was only a few inches, but enough to ignite those enthusiastic dreams of pristine mountaineering and great backcountry runs. Paradise measured 18 inches of new snow Saturday and 21 more today, Sunday! The National Weather Service is calling for another
storm, which has already started off colder.

Here are a few extra images that I didn't weave into the blog earlier. To the left is the only road into the Kautz Helibase. This one may not be so easy to repair, because some of the creeks have changed their course and now flow down road corridors.

The main image above is of Longmire from the air. You can note that the river's flow has decreased, that there are a number of recently uprooted large trees and new log jams, and that the river came very close to taking out the Emergency Operations Center.

As for creeks that change their courses, the main one of concern so far is Kautz Creek. It jumped its main channel about a mile above the road, and now runs through the forest as seen in this aerial photo. Note the dry creek bed where it once flowed. You can also see the younger forest as compared to the older growth.