All Yellowstone national park Entrances are closed to record flooding
Yellowstone National Park’s superintendent said Monday that the park had to close all five of its gates for the start of the summer visitor season due to unprecedented floods and rockslides caused by a burst of torrential rainfall.
All visitors, including those with accommodation and camping reservations, will be barred from the park for at least another day as officials examine the damage to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.
Wildfires devastated the park in 1988, forcing the closure of all five park entrances for the first time in over 30 years. Yellowstone’s northern side was the most impacted, with the National Park Service scrambling to get tourists and workers to safety, officials said.
There are many road and bridge collapses, mudslides and other hazards in the park’s northern area that need to be evacuated before anything else, according to the park superintendent, Cam Sholly.
According to the National Park Service, the “gateway” village of Gardiner, Montana, which is just north of the park’s northern boundary and is home to many Yellowstone service personnel, has been blocked off by a mudslide.
Multiple parts of Yellowstone’s roadways were either swept away or covered with boulders and mud, and a number of bridges were also destroyed, according to preliminary assessments by the park service.
According to the organisation, many routes in the southern tier of the park were at risk of flooding.
In the park and across the area, days of heavy rains and continuous rainfall were responsible for the flooding and slides, which followed one of the region’s rainiest springs in recent years. The park staff described the storms and flooding that had ravaged the area as unheard of.
Late-winter storms that deposited snow at higher elevations in the park have melted and flowed more quickly due to an increase in summer temperatures over the previous three days.
Two weeks after the customary Memorial Day vacation weekend launch of the US summer tourist season, which accounts for the bulk of Yellowstone’s yearly 4 million visitors, severe rains and quick snow melt combined to produce perilous conditions in the park.