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Saturday, December 3, 2022
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Yellowstone National Park Floods

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Yellowstone Flooding | Image by NBC

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Unprecedented flooding at Yellowstone National Park forced authorities to cancel reservations and evacuate the park after at least one bridge and some roads were destroyed on Monday.

Heavy rain battered much of southern Montana and northwestern Wyoming over the weekend. Combined with the mountain runoff from fresh layers of snow from an earlier storm system over Memorial Day weekend, the rain caused significant flooding in the region.

The Office of Emergency Management had to issue evacuation orders across Carbon County, Montana, located just east of the northeastern end of Yellowstone National Park, per NBC Montana.

Rivers and streams overflowed and threatened several communities, including Gardiner, Cooke City, and Red Lodge, according to Montana Free Press.

Most of the flooding within Yellowstone National Park was concentrated at the northern end, where rockslides, mudslides, bridge collapses, and road failures led authorities to evacuate and close the park.

“Our first priority has been to evacuate the northern section of the park where we have multiple road and bridge failures, mudslides and other issues,” stated Superintendent Cam Sholly with the National Park Service, per NPR.

“The community of Gardiner is currently isolated, and we are working with the county and State of Montana to provide necessary support to residents, who are currently without water and power in some areas,” he added.

NPS evacuated the park of guests, canceled reservations for the next week, and closed off working roads that led into the area.

The northern portion of the park will likely be closed for a “substantial length of time due to severely damaged, impacted infrastructure,” according to a statement by NPS.

The rest of the park will stay closed through the coming weekend.

Visitors planning to arrive after that are cautioned to pay attention to road conditions.

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