Airlift for marooned Denali guests, employees

DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, Alaska (AP) — Two helicopters and several small planes have been used to complete an airlift for dozens of lodge guests and employees at Denali National Park and Preserve who had been stranded by flooding and rockfalls that closed the road into the park.

Park spokeswoman Kris Fister says Denali Backcountry Lodge was housing about 100 guests and employees when two nearby raging creeks flooded the facility. Those people were evacuated by bus and taken to a smaller nearby lodge, which provided food but couldn't house them all.

So an airlift was arranged that was completed by late last night.

Fister says other lodges in the area did not flood and their guests should be able to get out by road today after some temporary repairs are completed.

A park helicopter also picked up four stranded climbers on the south side of the McKinley River.

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