Northern Portion of Yellowstone Likely To Remain Closed For "Substantial Length of Time"

Northern Portion of Yellowstone Likely To Remain Closed For "Substantial Length of Time"

National Parks

Northern Portion of Yellowstone Likely To Remain Closed For "Substantial Length of Time"

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“The landscape literally and figuratively has changed dramatically in the last 36 hours. A little bit ironic that this spectacular landscape was created by violent geologic and hydrologic events, and it’s just not very handy when it happens while we’re all here settled on it.” -Park County, Montana, Commissioner Bill Berg

More bummer news out of Yellowstone National Park as they have announcemed that the northern section of the park will likely remain closed for a “substantial length of time.” AP News reports the flooding began over the weekend causing Yellowstone to close, triggering the evacuation of more that 10,000 visitors. The floods were caused by a combination of warming temperatures leading execrated snow melt and torrential rainfall.

On top of the mass evacuation, the flooding has damaged hundreds of homes in the area and washed out bridges and roads in the park. The damage to the parks infrastructure will not be a quick fix, prompting the announcement that portions will remain closed for the foreseeable future. This is a developing story and we will be sure to update and new information becomes available. To donate to the Southwest Montana Flood Relief Fund please GO HERE

 

 

 

YELLOWSTONE PRESS RELEASE

Northern portion of Yellowstone National Park likely to remain closed for a substantial length of time due to severely damaged, impacted infrastructure; Visitors traveling to park in coming weeks must stay informed about current situation, road and weather conditions

Updates

  • Aerial assessments conducted Monday, June 13, by Yellowstone National Park show major damage to multiple sections of road between the North Entrance (Gardiner, Montana), Mammoth Hot Springs, Lamar Valley and Cooke City, Montana, near the Northeast Entrance.
  • Many sections of road in these areas are completely gone and will require substantial time and effort to reconstruct.
  • The National Park Service will make every effort to repair these roads as soon as possible; however, it is probable that road sections in northern Yellowstone will not reopen this season due to the time required for repairs.
  • To prevent visitors from being stranded in the park if conditions worsen, the park in coordination with Yellowstone National Park Lodges made the decision to have all visitors move out of overnight accommodations (lodging and campgrounds) and exit the park.
  • All entrances to Yellowstone National Park remain temporarily CLOSED while the park waits for flood waters to recede and can conduct evaluations on roads, bridges and wastewater treatment facilities to ensure visitor and employee safety.
  • There will be no inbound visitor traffic at any of the five entrances into the park, including visitors with lodging and camping reservations, until conditions improve and park infrastructure is evaluated.
  • The park’s southern loop appears to be less impacted than the northern roads and teams will assess damage to determine when opening of the southern loop is feasible. This closure will extend minimally through next weekend.
  • Due to the northern loop being unavailable for visitors, the park is analyzing how many visitors can safely visit the southern loop once it’s safe to reopen. This will likely mean implementation of some type of temporary reservation system to prevent gridlock and reduce impacts on park infrastructure.
  • At this time, there are no known injuries nor deaths to have occurred in the park as a result of the unprecedented flooding.
  • Effective immediately, Yellowstone’s backcountry is temporarily closed while crews assist campers (five known groups in the northern range) and assess damage to backcountry campsites, trails and bridges.
  • The National Park Service, surrounding counties and states of Montana and Wyoming are working with the park’s gateway communities to evaluate flooding impacts and provide immediate support to residents and visitors.
  • Water levels are expected to recede today in the afternoon; however, additional flood events are possible through this weekend.


Known damage
 and issues

  • Known 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 being impacted by flooding conditions and are being monitored.


Stay informed

  • Visitors planning to travel to Yellowstone in the upcoming weeks should stay informed about the current situation and pay close attention to the status of road and weather conditions.
  • Stay informed about up-to-date road conditions in Yellowstone:
    • Visit Park Roads.
    • To receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone, text “82190” to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).
    • Call (307) 344-2117 for a recorded message.
  • Find news releases about the incident on the park’s website.
  • Find photos on Flickr of this extremely hazardous situation in Yellowstone National Park.
  • Yellowstone will continue to communicate about this hazardous situation as more information is available.

images from Yellowstone National Park 

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