Heavy snow closes Mount Rushmore monument in South Dakota

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Heavy snow has forced the Mount Rushmore National Memorial to close in the Black Hills of western South Dakota.

Blaine Kortemeyer, assistant chief of interpretation at Mount Rushmore, says the park closed Tuesday morning for the safety of visitors and staff.

Kortemeyer says park staff can't keep up with clearing the grounds of snow. He says while the parking lot is open, the visitors center and information center are closed.

The National Weather Service in Rapid City says up to 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) of snow has fallen on Mount Rushmore.

The storm has dumped 10 inches (25 centimeters) of snow on the west side of Rapid City.

National Weather Service meteorologist and hydrologist Melissa Smith says Rapid City is seeing minor flooding.

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