Flooding Shuts Down Yellowstone National Park

     All entrances to Yellowstone National Park were closed for the first time in 34 years Monday as major flooding from heavy rain and melting snowpack swept away at least one bridge, washed away roads and set off mudslides – forcing an evacuation.

     Superintendent Cam Sholly says the northern loop of the park, which was evacuated in the morning, could be closed for a substantial amount of time. Visitors in the southern loop of Yellowstone were evacuated later in the day.

     National Park Service photos of northern Yellowstone showed a landslide, a bridge washed out over a creek, and roads badly undercut by churning floodwaters of the Gardner and Lamar rivers.

   As bad as things were in the park, they were worse to the north in Montana. Gardner, with 900 residents just north of Yellowstone, was completely cut off with all roads going in and out impassable. 

    Several other southern Montana towns were also hit hard by flooding, including Red Lodge – another access point to Yellowstone National Park.

    No injuries have been reported inside or outside the park, but dozens of stranded campers had to be rescued by raft in south-central Montana.