The National Weather Service meteorologist described the situation in Yellowstone as “a flood we have never seen before in our lives.”
HELENA, Mont. – Extreme levels of flood danger were announced in the Yellowstone area on Tuesday, with homes and rivers being flooded and floodwaters receding, leaving tourists and others stranded after roads and bridges were blown down by torrential rains.
Floods in southern Montana and northern Wyoming have forced Yellowstone National Park to close indefinitely as the summer tourist season expands, attracting millions of visitors each year.
To the north of the park, hundreds of people were left stranded after the Yellowstone River and its tributaries washed away the only roads in and out of the area.
Marshall Haley, a camp director near Gardiner, Montana, said some people were evacuated before the river was washed away before roads were washed away. But others were left behind and could not go now, he said. No information was given on when the roads will be repaired and reopened.
“We’re almost on an island,” Haley said. “Most of the motels were full, and probably because no truck could get here, the store would almost run out of food.”
Cook City and Silvergate, east of the park, were also flooded.
Numerous houses and other structures were destroyed, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths.
According to the National Meteorological Service, heavy rains on the melting mountain snow hit the Yellowstone, Stillwater and Clarks Fork rivers on Monday.
In several southern states of Yellowstone and Montana, officials were assessing the damage caused by storms, which also caused floods and landslides. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has declared a state of emergency.
In Livingston, low-rise neighborhoods were evacuated and the city hospital was evacuated as a precaution after the highway was flooded.
It was not clear how many visitors to the area were trapped or forced to leave Yellowstone, or how many people living outside the park were rescued and evacuated.
Some of the worst damage occurred in the northern part of the park and in the Yellowstone gateway communities in southern Montana. Yellowstone photos to the north of the National Park Service washed away bridges and roads as a result of flooding from the Gardner and Lamar rivers.
Park County officials, including Gardiner and Cook City, said widespread flooding across the county has made drinking water dangerous in many areas.
The Montana National Guard said Monday it had sent two helicopters to southern Montana to help evacuate.
A flood on the Stillwater River in southwestern Montana has left 68 people trapped in a camp. Stillwater County Emergency Services agencies and crews with Stillwater Mine rescued people from Woodbine Camp on Monday. Some roads in the area were closed due to flooding and residents were evacuated.
“We will assess the loss of houses and buildings when the water recedes,” the sheriff’s office said.
Cory Mottice, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Billings, Montana, said rain was not immediately forecast and cold weather would reduce snowmelt in the coming days.
“It’s a flood we’ve never seen in our lives,” Mottice said.
Scientists say climate change is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme events such as storms, droughts, floods and forest fires, although single weather events cannot usually be directly linked to climate change without extensive research.
According to the National Weather Service, the Yellowstone River in Corvin Springs rose to a height of 13.88 feet (4.2 meters) on Monday, a record high of 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) set in 1918.
In the cabin at Gardiner, Parker watched closely as the water rose in the floodwaters of the angry Yellowstone River near Manning’s door and the riverbank.
“We’re starting to see all the trees floating in the river, the debris,” Manning, of Terra Haute, Indiana, told the Associated Press. “I saw a crazy single skier come down. It was kind of crazy.”
On Monday night, Manning watched as the flowing waters cut across the river and the house fell into the Yellowstone River, mostly swimming away.
The floodwaters flooded a street in Red Lodge, Montana’s 2,100 residents. The Billings Gazette reports that twenty-five miles (40 kilometers) northeast, in Coliet, Kristan wiped away tears while standing on the opposite side of a washed-out bridge in Apodaca.
In March, a wooden cabin belonging to her grandmother, who died, flooded the park where Apodaca’s husband proposed to her.
“I am the sixth generation. This is our home. ” “It simply came to our notice then. My mother drove it at 3 o’clock in the morning before washing. “
Yellowstone officials evacuated the northern part of the park on Monday, where roads could remain impassable for a long time, park chief Cam Sholly said in a statement.
However, the floods also affected the rest of the park, with park officials warning of higher floods and potential problems with water supply and wastewater systems in developed areas.
The rains came at a time when hotels in the region have been flooded with summer tourists in recent weeks. More than 4 million visitors came to the park last year. The tourist wave does not decrease until autumn, and June is usually one of the busiest months in Yellowstone.
Yellowstone rained 2.5 inches (6 inches) until Saturday, Sunday and Monday. According to the National Meteorological Service, the Beartooth Mountains, located northeast of Yellowstone, gained 4 inches (10 centimeters).
The floods hit other parts of the United States in hot, dry weather. More than 100 million Americans have been warned to stay home because of the heat wave in parts of the Gulf Coast that stretch from the Great Lakes to the east to Carolina.
Elsewhere in the West, crews from California to New Mexico are battling forest fires in hot, dry and windy weather.
Associated Press writers Thomas Peipert in Denver, Fort Collins, Mead Gruver and Bellingham in Colorado, and Lisa Baumann in Washington contributed to the report.
Yellowstone flooded park, evacuates tourists
Source link Yellowstone flooded park, evacuates tourists