Olympic National Park to close six areas in advance of Thursday night's storm

PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- Six areas of Olympic National Park are going to close at 5 p.m. Thursday in advance of a big storm to "prevent weather-related injuries and accidents," the National Park Service announced Wednesday.

"Heavy rain and high winds are forecast to begin late tomorrow over much of the Olympic Peninsula, with a flood watch posted from 10:00 p.m. Thursday through 10:00 a.m. Sunday.  As a precaution, the following areas of Olympic National Park will close no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 12, and may close earlier if needed: Hurricane Ridge, Elwha, Sol Duc, Hoh, Mora and Quinault," the park said in a news release.

Sarah Creachbaum, Olympic National Park superintendent, said, “With a flood watch and wind advisory set to begin on Thursday, we are taking action now to prevent weather-related injuries and accidents. Once the storm passes, we will assess conditions and reopen the park as quickly as possible.”

The park said the Kalaloch Campground will also close no later than 5:00 p.m. Thursday, and added that visitors who may be in the Kalaloch area are urged to avoid trails and beach areas during the storm, as high winds can topple trees and will increase the ocean’s waves which are already predicted to reach 20 feet.

The park said that visitors planning to visit the park in the coming days are urged to call the Olympic National Park Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131 for the latest information on road and facility status and to check weather forecasts before traveling.