Google Earth visualization of the Mount Rainier hydrologic network. Red areas represent a catchment area of 100 m2 while blue areas represent an area of > 610,000 m2. Kautz Creek flows through the large valley near the center of the image. The creek, like many on Mt. Rainier, is primarily fed by a glacier. Kautz Creek is no stranger to flood events, but floods are usually caused by glacier outbursts and not heavy rain.
Left: Aerial view of Kautz Creek's old and new channels. Photo: NPS. Right: Stream channel calculated by TauDEM. The new stream channel is shown in orange-yellow.
Left: Drainage network along the new Kautz Creek channel, crossing the road. The actual channel is slightly east of that calculated. Two 12-foot diameter culverts were placed to allow the road to cross over the creek's new channel. The 30-meter long bridge to the west now crosses a mostly dry stream bed. Right: Kautz Creek flowing over Nisqually-Paradise Rd. during the storm. Photo: NPS
Left: The helibase and its access road were severely washed out before Kautz Creek finally reached the Nisqually River. Photo: NPS. Drainage network running through the Kautz Helibase access road.
Google Map showing old and new Kautz Creek channels and damage.