Parts of Yellowstone National Park reopen after historic floods

Parts of Yellowstone National Park reopen after historic floods

Parts of Yellowstone National Park reopen after historic floods

Parts of Yellowstone National Park will reopen next week, the National Park Service announced on Saturday. The news comes days after historic floods have been devastated houseswater systems and weigh in the area and forced the park to close.

The park’s southern loop will have limited service beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, the park service said. The northern loop will remain closed until further notice. In a statement Saturday, the park service said it expected the northern area “to remain closed for a considerable time.”

“Many sections of road in these areas have completely disappeared and will take a lot of time and effort to reconstruct,” it said.


Aerial images show the extent of the Yellowstone floods

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To slow the expected flow of visitors at the reopened entrances, the park service said it will implement an “alternating license plate system.” Vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers will be able to enter the park on odd days of the month, while even numbers may enter on even days. Special letter-only license plates may be entered on odd days.

There are certain exceptions to this rule, including for those who have proof of an overnight stay at the park. Visit the National Park Service website here for the full list of exemptions.

“We’ve made tremendous progress in a very short time, but we still have a long way to go,” Cam Sholly, the Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, said in Saturday’s statement. “We have an aggressive plan for recovery in the north and resumption of operations in the south. We appreciate the tremendous support from the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior, in addition to our surrounding congressional delegations, governors, counties, communities and other partners .”


Historic Floods Devastate Yellowstone National Park

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Chuck Sams, the director of the National Park Service, said they are “doing everything we can to support the park, its partners, concessionaires and gateway communities on the road to recovery.”

The unprecedented and flash flooding earlier this week drove most of the 10,000+ visitors from the country’s oldest park, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

At least 300 homes and 200 buildings were damaged — a special one amazing video showed a house that fell into the Yellowstone River as the water rose. On Friday, research teams were still struggling to reach rural communities after about 15 bridges were destroyed.

The water too cutting off fresh drinking water to the 110,000 residents of Billings, Montana, the state’s largest city, according to the Associated Press.

“None of us planned a 500-year flood on the Yellowstone when we designed these facilities,” said Debi Meling, the city’s director of public works.