Yellowstone National Park Evacuates Visitors as ‘Extreme’ Flooding Ravages Park

by Jon D. B.
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Yellowstone National Park evacuated visitors within the park’s northern portion this morning after historic flooding began ripping through the park.

At first, roads in the northern portion of Yellowstone National Park (YELL) would close. Before 9:30 a.m. Monday, June 13, torrential rainfall brought “substantial flooding” to the area, causing rockslides, mudslides, and road collapses. But the situation would escalate so quickly that park officials were forced to evacuate all visitors within Yellowstone’s northern portion of the park.

The National Park Service’s initial media release cited “unprecedented amounts of rainfall.” And by noon Monday, the Yellowstone River had flooded past any known historic levels or records.

Northeast Entrance Road washed out near Soda Butte Picnic Area in Yellowstone National Park. (NPS, YELL media release)

Visitors in the Mammoth Hot Springs and Canyon Junction areas were evacuated as flooding took to these areas first. But it’s not just Yellowstone National Park tourist sites seeing this historic flooding. NPS is currently working with Montana’s Gardiner, Silver Gate and Cooke City to help assess flooding and citizen safety.

Several sections of Yellowstone road are washing out completely. The damage is reaching “catastrophic” levels between Gardiner and Cooke City, with bridges also affected.

Yellowstone National Park Expecting Unprecedented Damage Amidst Historic Flooding

US Highway 89 S would also close at the Yankee Jim Canyon due to early flooding. Many park roadways are now collapsing altogether.

High water levels in Gardner River alongside the Yellowstone National Park North Entrance Road. (NPS, YELL media release)

“Some of these roads may remain closed for an extended period of time,” the park cites in their initial media release.

“The National Park Service, Park County, Montana, and state officials will continue to work with the communities of Gardiner, Silver Gate and Cooke City to evaluate flooding impacts and provide support to residents,” Yellowstone continues.

Before noon Monday, park officials would make the decision to close all entrances to the park. Visitation is to cease entirely as flooding and resulting damage continues. As the Yellowstone River surpasses historic flooding levels, the entire park is no longer suitable for visitation at this time.

If you’re a resident of Montana, be sure to check the Montana Department of Transportation for road updates. The local forecast continues to call for rainfall, and flooding will only worsen.

Thankfully, there are no injuries or casualties to report so far. Yellowstone will continue to communicate on this hazardous situation as more information becomes available.

Outsider.com