No easy answers to Yellowstone Park closure

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Yellowstone Park closure

Don’t look for any immediate answers for when Yellowstone National Park will be able to reopen after Sunday’s catastrophic flooding closed the park and caused its evacuation. Superintendent Cam Sholly told reporters yesterday afternoon that the water is still raging on the northern end of the park, and crews have not yet been able to get in and assess all the damage.

“Without those damage assessments its really hard to come up with an exact timeline or even a good general timeline. Give us a few more days to get the water down and to get teams looking at what is going to be required and we will be able to give you much better data and information on timing.  I think that it is safe to day that it is going to be an extended period of time the northern end will be closed in relationship to the southern loop. I would say that we are shooting for a week or less to open the southern loop.

As far as getting that assessment done is concerned, Sholly told reporters that he has been told of the potential for another severe event coming to the area this weekend which will complicate being able to get an assessment done. Sholly adds that it may even not be possible to open the northern loop of the park for the rest of the season.

Sholly explained that some roads on the northern end of the park may require total realignment after being washed away by flood waters. Sholly says dealing with the closure and ultimately the reopening of Yellowstone has involved considerable coordination with the gateway communities and Grand Teton National Park, particularly regarding how to open the southern loop in a way that will support an appropriate amount of visitation with only half the park accessible.

 

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