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Glacier breaks off, causes flood that sweeps through Rainier National Park

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Tahoma Glacier viewed from Emerald Ridge along the Wonderland Trail (Photo: National Park Service)

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) — Officials say a half-acre section of the South Tahoma Glacier broke off near Tahoma Creek in Mount Rainier National Park and caused a flood of water and debris.

No one was injured by the debris flow on Thursday. Two volunteers working nearby were able to hike safely to higher ground. The debris flows were picked up by seismic monitoring equipment starting at 9:40 a.m. and the Nisqually River rose about half a foot.

Park officials have closed Westside Road for the weekend for visitor safety and to do some repairs.

The flood and debris flow was first reported by one of the volunteers working near Tahoma Creek on an unrelated project. Park officials reported the flood on Friday.

Since 1985, more than 30 debris flows have occurred in the Tahoma Creek valley.