The latest photos, courtesy of Yellowstone National Park, show the devastating impacts of mid-June flooding on the park’s northern section.
“The landscape has changed dramatically, literally and figuratively, in the past 48 hours,” decreed Gardiner, Montana Commissioner Bill Berg in the Yellowstone National Park (YELL) NPS press briefing on June 14. Together, Berg and YELL Superintendent Cam Sholly spoke to the severity of this natural disaster.
“Yellowstone is going to do everything we can to safely reopen the park. This will start with the Southern Loop,” Sholly offered. “The Southern Loop should be open and ready for access relatively soon. But the Northern Loop will take a considerable amount of time and effort.”
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PHOTOS: Yellowstone’s North Entrance Road Destroyed
The latest NPS images show the toll flooding has taken, and why such considerable time and effort will be necessary. In these latest photos, Yellowstone’s North Entrance Road (that leads from gateway community Gardiner to the park’s Mammoth area) suffers catastrophic damage from rock and mudslides. Both have been frequent throughout the flooding.
“Mammoth will likely not reopen this year,” Sholly continued of one of the park’s most famous areas around Mammoth Hot Springs. “We will likely not reopen the road between Gardiner and Mammoth for the rest of the summer. That will likely stay closed for the rest of the season,” he continued.
Intense flash flooding swept the park throughout Monday, June 13. An unusual heat wave would melt off remaining snow, then combine with torrential rain to create a “once-in-a-thousand-year occurrence,” Sholly said. A statement he would quickly retract, however, as Yellowstone now sees “freak” acts of nature on an bi-yearly basis at the least.
This in mind, Superintendent Sholly announced in the press briefing that Yellowstone is unlikely to repair these same roads, as a future flooding event may cause the same damage.
CONT’D: Photos Show Severe Damage Leaving Yellowstone National Park Northern Loop ‘Unlikely To Reopen’ In 2022
“I also think that this event shows that it’s important to make sure that we’re building our assets in a resilient way,” he said. Park staff and patrons alike must be “understanding that the future may be different than the past,” he added.
“We need to continue to work together to identify what needs to be done. And make sure what we’re doing here can accomplish the mission of service. Which is: protection of this place, first and foremost, and enjoyment of this place at the same time. This is sometimes contradictory, but it is really important. Thanks to all of you for helping us achieve that,” Sholly concluded for reporters, including Outsider.
As this last image shows, Yellowstone’s Northeast Entrance Road has suffered similar tolls. According to YELL’s latest media release on June 14, the following damage is present in the park:
- Damage (at this time) to some park roads includes:
- North Entrance (Gardiner, Montana) to Mammoth Hot Springs: road washed out in multiple places, significant rockslide at Gardner Canyon
- Tower Junction to Northeast Entrance: segment of road washed out near Soda Butte Picnic Area, mudslides, downed trees
- Tower-Roosevelt to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass): mudslide on road
- Canyon Junction to Fishing Bridge: Segment of road just south of Canyon Junction potentially compromised and closed for evaluation
- The power continues to be out in multiple locations in the park
- Water and wastewater systems at Canyon Village and Mammoth Hot Springs are impacted by flooding conditions
For previous images, see Yellowstone National Park Flooding: All The Latest Photos & Videos.