Tuesday, as the park remained closed until at least Wednesday due to dangerous floods and rockslides that have eroded roads, ripped apart bridges, and forced evacuations this week.
With flood levels “beyond record levels” and more rain expected in the coming days, all five park entrances were closed.
Multiple road and bridge failures, power outages, and mudslides have caused evacuations to begin in the park’s northern section.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” said a firefighter and EMT in Gardiner, a town just outside Yellowstone’s busy northern entrance.
There were no immediate reports of injuries, but floodwaters swept away numerous homes, bridges, and other structures, with the northern part of the park suffering the most damage.
YELLOWSTONE IS CLOSED: Visitors are being evacuated from Yellowstone National Park.
According to the National Weather Service, the Yellowstone River reached nearly 14 feet on Monday, breaking the previous record of 11.5 feet established more than a century ago.
Flooding blocked off Yellowstone’s small gateway settlements in southern Montana, leaving them isolated and without power, necessitating boat and helicopter evacuations.
Gardiner, a community of around 900 inhabitants, was effectively sealed off from the rest of the world when road access was cut off. The only route in or out was by plane. One of the buildings that slid off the riverbed into the lake was a 10-person bunker. On Tuesday, only a part of the house’s foundation remained.
The village of Gardiner is currently isolated. They are working with the county and state of Montana to offer required support to residents who are currently without water and power in certain places.
Floodwaters also sealed out Cooke City and forced Livingston residents to flee. 68 people were stuck at a campground in south-central Montana after the Stillwater River overflowed, and personnel evacuated them by raft.
Officials in Park County, which includes these cities, issued shelter-in-place orders on Monday, warning that flooding had rendered several communities’ drinking water hazardous. Residents lugged bottled water home from the supermarket, fearful of a food shortage. During Monday’s evacuations, boat and air rescues were in progress.
“Extensive flooding has washed out bridges, highways, and isolated villages and houses throughout Park County,” Park County said in a statement.
Kristan Apodaca cried as she watched floodwaters engulf her grandmother’s log house and the park where her husband proposed in Joliet, Montana, in the south-central part of the state.
Some people have lost their homes, others are unable to work. People are already concerned about food shortages.
When will Yellowstone National Park reinstate?
Visitors are not allowed to enter Yellowstone Park by any of its five entrances until at least Wednesday, according to park officials.
Reduced rain and colder temperatures, which could lead to less snowmelt, according to Cory Mottice, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Billings, Montana, may help to mitigate floods.
Nonetheless, “this is flooding that we’ve never seen in our lifetimes,” according to Mottice.
Yellowstone is flooded for a reason
This week’s floods were caused by a combination of record rainfall and rapidly melting snowpack, with scientists blaming climate change for more intense and frequent weather events.
The floods came as the summer tourist season was ramping up in June, one of the park’s busiest months.
In which state Yellowstone National Park is located?
Yellowstone National Park is located in the state of Montana.
Yellowstone National Park is a well almost 3,500-square-mile wildlife park on top of a volcanic hotspot that was established as the world’s first national park. It primarily affects Wyoming, but it also affects Montana and Idaho.
“Observe wildlife in an intact ecosystem, explore geothermal areas that contain about half of the world’s active geysers, and view geologic wonders like the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River,” the park’s website says.
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