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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Yellowstone flood forces 10,000 to leave national park

More than 10,000 visitors were ordered from Yellowstone to wash down bridges and roads and send a staff bunkhouse miles down the northern half of the country’s oldest national park, officials said Tuesday. Remarkably, no one was reported injured or killed.

The only visitors left in the sprawling park spanning three states were a dozen campers still venturing out into the backcountry.

The park, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, may remain closed for a week, and the northern entrance may not reopen this summer, Superintendent Cam Sholey said.

“The water is still raging,” said Sholey, who said more wetter weather was forecast later this week that could lead to additional flooding.

Flooding in the Yellowstone River after days of rain hit historic levels and quickly snowballed and wreaked havoc in parts of southern Montana and northern Wyoming, where it swept away cabins, swept away small towns, power and homes. The flood came. This came in the form of the summer tourist season in the park, attracting millions of visitors.

Instead of marveling at the site of grizzlies and bison, the thermal pools and regular eruptions of Old Faithful’s geysers, tourists found themselves witnessing nature at its most unexpected as the Yellowstone River engulfed in a chocolate-brown eddy that cascades its way. I used to wash anything.

“It’s the scariest river ever,” Kate Gomez of Santa Fe, New Mexico, said Tuesday. “Anything that falls into that river is gone.”

The waters were starting to recede only on Tuesday and the full extent of the destruction was not yet known.

Sholey said a backpacker living in the park was contacted. He said the crew was ready to rescue him by helicopter if needed.

Sholey said he did not believe the park had ever been closed by floods.

Gomez and her husband were among hundreds of tourists stranded in Gardiner, Montana, a city of about 800 residents at the park’s north entrance. The city was cut off for more than a day until Tuesday afternoon, when crews reopened a section of the two-lane road.

While the flooding cannot be directly attributed to climate change, it did come as the Midwest and East Coast, an early wildfire season amid a heat wave and persistent drought in other parts of the West. burns, which have increased in frequency and intensity. The fire which is having a huge impact. Smoke emanating from the fire in the mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona can be seen in Colorado.

Rick Thoman, a climatologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said a warmer climate makes extreme weather events more likely than “without the heat caused by human activity.”

Heavy rain over melting mountain snow pushed the Yellowstone, Stillwater and Clarks Fork rivers to record levels on Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials in Yellowstone and several southern Montana counties were assessing damage from the storm, which also caused landslides and rockfalls. Montana Gov. Greg Gianfort declared a statewide disaster.

Some of the worst damage occurred in the northern portion of the park and the Yellowstone entrance communities in southern Montana. Photos from the National Park Service of North Yellowstone show a mudslide, washed-out bridges and roads churning out floodwaters from the Gardner and Lamar Rivers.

In Red Lodge, Montana, a town of 2,100 that is a popular jumping-off point for a scenic, winding route in Yellowstone, a creek running through the city jumped from its banks and a day later saw trout swimming across the street. Leaving and crossing the main road. Sunny sky.

Residents described a harrowing scene where water moved from torrent to torrent within hours.

Water knocked down telephone poles, demolished enclosures and dug deep cracks in the ground around hundreds of homes. The power went out but was restored by Tuesday, although there was still no running water in the neighborhood.

In recent weeks, rains lashed hotels in the area with summer tourists. Last year the park attracted more than 4 million visitors. The wave of tourists doesn’t subside until fall, and June is usually one of Yellowstone’s busiest months.

Rocky Mountain Rotors owner and chief pilot Mark Taylor said his company had airlifted about 40 paying customers from Gardiner over the past two days, including two women who were “very pregnant.”

Taylor talked when he ferry a family of four adults to Texas who wanted to do some more sightseeing before heading home.

“I think they’re going to rent a car and they’re going to check out some other parts of Montana — somewhere drier,” he said.

In a cabin at Gardiner, Parker Manning of Terre Haute, Indiana, gazes at the floodwaters of the Yellowstone River just outside his door. Whole trees and even a lone kayaker swam.

Early in the evening, he shot the video as the water ate up on the opposite shore, where a large brown house sat precariously.

In a great hoarse voice heard over the roar of the river, the house fell overboard and was pulled into the stream. Sholly said it swam 8 kilometers below before sinking.

The Montana National Guard said on Monday it sent two helicopters to southern Montana to help with the evacuation.

According to the National Weather Service, the Yellowstone River in Corwin Springs rose to a height of 4.2 meters on Monday, higher than the previous record of 3.5 meters set in 1918.

Yellowstone received 6 cm of rain on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. According to the National Weather Service, Beartooth Mountain northeast of Yellowstone has risen by 10 centimeters.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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