Floods in Yellowstone National Park sweep away bridges and undermine roads

HELENA, Montana — Major flooding swept away at least one bridge, washed away roads and triggered mudslides in Yellowstone National Park Monday, prompting officials to close entrances to the popular tourist attraction and evacuate visitors.

The flooding came after the recent “unprecedented rains,” park officials said on Facebook.

“Our first priority was evacuating the northern portion of the park, where we are experiencing multiple road and bridge failures, mudslides and other issues,” Sholly said in a statement.

The community of Gardiner, Montana, north of the park, has been isolated because roads leading in and out of town are impassable, officials said. There is a power outage in some areas of the park.

“Due to forecasts of higher flood levels in areas of the park’s south loop, as well as concerns about water and sewage systems, we will begin moving south loop visitors out of the park later today,” Sholly said.

Officials can’t say when the park will reopen until the floodwaters subside and they can assess the damage, he said.

“It is likely that the northern loop will be closed for a significant period of time,” he said.

The park experienced record flooding, officials said.

Scientists say they can’t directly link a single weather event to climate change without extensive studies, but climate change is responsible for more intense and frequent extreme events like storms, droughts, floods and wildfires.

Recent heavy rains and spring runoff also caused flooding in southern Montana, with water spilling over the streets of Red Lodge on Monday. Evacuation orders have been issued in Carbon County, the Office of Emergency Management said.

Montana is grappling with flooding while elsewhere in the West wildfires have been burning in hot, dry and windy weather.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc13.com/yellowstone-flooding-national-park-closed-2022/11955801/ Floods in Yellowstone National Park sweep away bridges and undermine roads

Dais Johnston

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