Photo Credit: Emma H. Tobin
Yellowstone National Park Will Close For Days, Possibly Longer, Because Of Heavy Rainfall
Visitors at Yellowstone National Park had to evacuate after rainfall washed away roads and bridges. Record rain and melting snow resulted in floods and mudslides at the park. Over 10,000 visitors were forced to flee to safety.
According to Jason Straub, a meteorologist with the Weather Service, Sunday’s rainfall was 1.37 inches, beating 2005’s record of under a half-inch.
Two to three inches of rain fell over the weekend and with warm temperatures, 5.5 inches of snow melted. The melting snow led to floods, said Cam Sholly, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park.
The park will be closed for a week and the northern section of the park, which was severely damaged, may be closed for the remainder of the season. Sholly said in a news conference that the northern half of the park may be closed until late October or early November.
There were no injuries from the storm, however, officials report that one person suffered from a fatal cardiac arrest at a campground.
About Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park attracts millions of visitors each year. The park spreads out over two million acres in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It is the oldest national park in the United States.
Over 4.8 million travelers visited the park in 2021. The park closed during the pandemic in 2020 and reopened in 2021. Local businesses struggled during the pandemic, but were optimistic about tourism picking up in 2022.
This year was going to have record levels of tourism. Bill Berg, the commissioner of Gardiner and Cooke City’s county says, “Now that’s all gone. It’s a lot on top of a lot.”
2022 also marks the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park.