Hurricane Ridge closed Thursday; other areas to include Hoh, Quinault, Elwha, Mora, Sol Duc

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With heavy rain and high winds forecast to begin late Thursday over much of the Olympic Peninsula, and a flood watch posted from Thursday night through Sunday morning, Olympic National Park officials say they will close areas of the park as a precaution.

The Hurricane Ridge road was closed at the Heart of the Hills entrance station as of Thursday morning.  Areas to close no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, and earlier if called for, include Elwha Valley, Sol Duc Valley, Hoh Rain Forest, Quinault Rain Forest and the Mora area.

The closures are aimed at preventing weather-related injuries and accidents, said Sarah Creachbaum, Olympic National Park Superintendent. “Once the storm passes, we will assess conditions and reopen the park as quickly as possible,” she said in a written statement.

The Kalaloch Campground will also close no later than 5 p.m. Visitors 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.

Forecasts call for 1 to 3 inches of rain in the park Thursday, with 3 inches of snow possible at the ridge; another 1 to 3 inches rain Thursday night, and up to 3 inches of rain Friday, with a snow level of 7,500 feet.

Park visitors may get updates on road and facility status by calling the Olympic National Park Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131. Other park information: