Due to the extreme weather conditions Sunday night, all entrances to Yellowstone National Park remain temporarily closed today due to flooding and major road damage.
Superintendent Cam Sholly says “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.
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.” Additionally, the power is out in multiple locations in the park. At this time, no inbound visitor traffic will be allowed into the park until conditions stabilize and the park can assess damage to roads and bridges and other facilities.
Park officials say preliminary assessments show multiple sections of roads throughout the park with massive damage and have been either washed out or covered in mud or rocks, and multiple bridges may be affected. Many Yellowstone roads may remain closed for an extended period of time. Flood levels measured on the Yellowstone River are reportedly beyond record levels.
Closures also include areas where visitors have lodging and camping reservations. Rainfall is expected to continue for the next several days, and with additional rainfall in the forecast, the park does not want large numbers of day-use visitors to become stranded in the park.
Further to the north, flood waters have toppled bridges around Park County, Montana and water rushing through downtown Red Lodge, Montana have severely damaged homes and businesses.
Silvergate and Cooke City, Montana outside the Northeast Entrance are also isolated with roads leading in and out of those tiny communities washed out.
It is still too early to assess all the damage from the flash flooding that has taken place throughout the geographic area. Authorities expect the waters to begin receding Tuesday.