During a virtual meeting with Jackson Hole residents and business operators yesterday, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said support for the park in its efforts to work through the flooding crisis has been strong from all gateway communities and the communities beyond.
Sholly explained that employees of the park services were asked to leave as the park tries to mitigate the effects of failed sewer and water systems. Six employees and their families lost their housing and personal effects when their apartment complex fell into the Yellowstone River. Already, he says, relief has been coming through the Yellowstone Forever Foundation.
“Yellowstone Forever set up a resiliency fund for employee support currently that fund and Conoco/Phillips just donated $1 million to that fund – in addition to another 150000 or 200000 of additional donations that have come in. So we’ve got about $1.2 million philanthropically that can be used to buy employees furniture if they lost furniture, or some of those folks lost irreplaceable things, but within a 48-hour period, we have well over $1-million that’s able to be spent on employee support.”
Sholly told the participants in the meeting that this was a 1000-year event which dropped two to four inches of rain on top of snowmelt, causing the Yellowstone River (which normally would see a crest of about 30-thousand cubic feet per second) to crest at over 50-thousand cubic feet per second, washing out roads and several buildings.