UPDATE: Temporary Closures at Whiskeytown Lifted

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Clouds reflecting off Whiskeytown Lake

After temporarily closing Crystal Creek Road at Highway 299 and Kennedy Memorial Drive at the Clair A. Hill Whiskeytown Dam yesterday, these areas of the park have now been reopened.

Staff determined that no major debris flows had occurred in these areas. Park officials made the decision to close the South Side areas yesterday based on the severe weather forecast, which predicted heavy rain and snow within the burned areas of the Carr Fire. The concern is for intense rainfall on Shasta Bally, which is exceptionally steep and has highly erosive soils. Specifically, the Brandy Creek, Boulder Creek, Paige Boulder Creek, Mill Creek, and Crystal Creek watersheds have all been identified as areas with a high potential for debris flow. Debris flows are extremely dangerous water-laden masses of soil, vegetation, and rock that
rush down mountainsides and funnel into stream channels capturing additional material in their path and eventually forming fan-shaped deposits on valley floors. Smaller scale landslides and flooding may occur anywhere within the park during rain events.

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Due to the current heavy rainfall, the forecast for more throughout the day, and the threat of debris flows due to the 2018 Carr Fire, the south side of the park is closed until further notice. This includes Crystal Creek Road and Kennedy Memorial Drive at the Clair A. Hill Whiskeytown Dam.

Park officials made the decision to close the area based on the severe weather forecast, which is predicting heavy rain and snow within the burned areas of the Carr Fire. The concern is for intense rainfall on Shasta Bally, which is exceptionally steep and has highly erosive soils. Specifically, the Brandy Creek, Boulder Creek, Paige Boulder Creek, Mill Creek, and Crystal Creek watersheds have all been identified as areas with a high potential for debris flow. Debris flows are extremely dangerous water-laden masses of soil, vegetation, and rock that rush down
mountainsides and funnel into stream channels capturing additional material in their path and eventually forming fan-shaped deposits on valley floors. Smaller scale landslides and flooding may occur anywhere within the park during rain events. “Visitor and staff safety are behind this decision to temporarily close the south side of the National Recreation Area, and I am very appreciative of the community’s understanding as we follow our internal closure plan with this storm. We hope to welcome back our visitors soon,” said Superintendent Josh Hoines in a statement.

To learn more about Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/whis, or stop by the Visitor Center, open seven days a week between 10 am and 4 pm.

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-from press release
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