A glacial outburst caused a rush of water and debris to pour out of the Tahoma Glacier on Monday, according to a Mount Rainier National Park release.
KIRO 7 received rare video of the outburst that was high up on Mount Rainier.
The outburst occurred between 6:48 and 7:58 p.m. It originated from a sudden and significant change in the primary outlet stream from the South Tahoma Glacier.
According to the park service, something was wrong Tuesday because of what was going on miles downstream in the valley.
The park’s Westside Road and Tahoma Creek Trail sustained damage. The park temporarily closed the road after consulting with the United States Geological Service Cascades Volcano Observatory.
The park service shared some photos of what the normally calm Tahoma Creek looked like and some of the flooding caused by the outburst.
According to the release, the debris flow may indicate that subsequent events may occur sometime in the coming weeks.
“Debris flows are not uncommon during periods of hot weather in the park’s dynamic landscape” stated Tracy Swartout, Acting Superintendent. “Visitor and staff safety are our priority, so limited closures are appropriate at this time.”
It is not known what caused the glacial outburst.
There have been at least 32 outburst floods and debris flows in the Tahoma Creek valley since 1967.
The Park Service wants hikers to get to higher ground if water levels suddenly rise.