YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (ABC4) – Summer travelers visiting Yellowstone National Park were in for a stormy surprise when they were evacuated due to substantial floods on Monday.
The National Park Service (NPS) says the closures were caused by major flooding, rockslides and “extremely hazardous conditions.”
“Effective immediately, there will be no inbound visitor traffic at any of the five entrances into Yellowstone National Park on Tuesday, June 14, and Wednesday, June 15, at a minimum,” says NPS.
Electricity was also knocked out due to “unprecedented” amounts of rainfall and flooding.” Residents living in the nearby town of Gardiner have been left without water or power.
Park officials say their first priority was to evacuate the northern part of the park affected by “multiple road and bridge failures, mudslides and other issues.”
“Due to predictions of higher flood levels in areas of the park’s southern loop, in addition to concerns with water and wastewater systems, we will begin to move visitors in the southern loop out of the park later today in coordination with our in-park business partners,” says NPS.
“We will not know timing of the park’s reopening until flood waters subside and we’re able to assess the damage throughout the park,” officials say. “It is likely that the northern loop will be closed for a substantial amount of time. I appreciate the efforts of the Yellowstone team and partners to safely evacuate areas of the park and of our gateway community partners who are helping us through this major event.”
Travelers planning to visit the park should stay updated on road conditions and park opening updates. Officials say many park roads could remain closed for an extended period of time.
NPS says, “multiple sections of roads throughout the park have been either washed out or covered in mud or rocks, and multiple bridges may be affected.” Heavy rainfall is also expected to continue for the next several days.
Ways to stay informed on the most current road conditions in Yellowstone:
- Visit Park Roads
- To receive Yellowstone road alerts on your mobile phone, text “82190” to 888-777 (an automatic text reply will confirm receipt and provide instructions).
- Call (307) 344-2117 for a recorded message.