Flooding Closes Parts of Yellowstone National Park

Dangerous flooding caused by heavy rain and melting snow impacted several counties in Montana beginning Monday. As a result, all five of Yellowstone National Park’s entrances have been closed, with no official date for reopening.

The flooding has caused damage to roads and bridges as well as many homes and businesses. Videos on social media show entire homes and bridges being swept away with the rushing water. Park officials released a statement saying many of the roads are completely gone and will require a significant amount of time for repairs.

Due to the extent of the damage, officials believe it is likely that northern parts of Yellowstone will not reopen for this season due to the time these repairs will take. Since Monday, over 10,000 visitors have left the park, and closing the entrances was a preventative measure to ensure more people did not become stranded.

Cooler temperatures and less rain have allowed some parts of the river to begin receding since the height of the flooding. However, with higher temperatures forecasted for later this week, there is a fear that more snowmelt could increase the flooding again.

Some surrounding communities have been left without power or safe drinking water, and the conditions have made it either impossible or unsafe to travel. The Montana National Guard evacuated at least a dozen people on Monday and has deployed four helicopters to assist with evacuations.

The Governor of Montana Greg Gianforte declared a statewide disaster on Tuesday and has announced he is seeking an expedited presidential disaster declaration.

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