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Highway remains closed near Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park remains closed today after an avalanche slid onto Highway 62 Tuesday morning.

The highway is partially cleared, but the open lanes aren't wide enough to accommodate snow-removal equipment and other traffic, and more snow is expected, said Cheryl Knobel, a dispatcher at the park's communication center.

Officials will re-evaluate road and weather conditions Thursday morning to decide when to reopen the highway and the park, she said.

Another strong storm is predicted to hit the park — and the rest of Southern Oregon — late this afternoon. Snow levels should be between 3,500 and 4,000 feet and 6 to 11 inches of new snow could pile up by Thursday morning. Winds of 15 to 40 mph also are expected, causing blowing and drifting snow to reduce visibilities to below a quarter of a mile at times.

The National Weather Service office in Medford has issued a snow and blowing snow advisory in effect from 4 p.m. today until 6 p.m. Thursday for the Crater Lake and Diamond Lake areas, as well as for Klamath County east of the Cascades.

The park weather report from this morning notes that avalanche danger in the park is high to extreme, but Knobel said the slide along the highway doesn't appear to be active.

"Anywhere with this much recent snow is going to have high avalanche danger," especially on avalanche-prone slopes, she said.

The park now has 98 inches of snow on the ground, 134 percent of normal for this time of the year.

— Anita Burke