Yellowstone National Park Partially Reopens After Historic Flooding

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Yellowstone National Park suffered catastrophic flooding on June 13, 2022 (Credit: National Park Service)

An unprecedented flood hit Yellowstone National Park on June 13, 2022. The catastrophic event was caused by a combination of unusually heavy rains and rapid snowmelt. The high and fast water flows destroyed bridges and swept away entire roadways, leaving communities and homes isolated. Fortunately, the approximately 10,000 park visitors were safely evacuated.

The town of Gardiner, along the Montana-Wyoming border, was particularly hard hit. The floodwaters from its namesake river left the almost 900 residents with no power or water for many days. Both have since been restored. But Gardiner's economy, which depends on the almost three-quarters of a million visitors who pass through the park's north gate annually, is likely to take a hit. The floodwaters have severely damaged the main north entrance road to Yellowstone from Gardiner to Mammoth, and could take years to rebuild.

Park officials have begun work on improving an alternative gravel road to Gardiner. This will ensure that locals can access food, supplies, and other essential emergency services. A limited number of tourists may also be allowed into Gardiner once the road is stable.

Yellowstone's north gate is closed indefinitely. But the park's three south gates opened to visitors on June 22, 2022. Park officials have started a new entry system to prevent overcrowding. It is based on the last number of the guest's vehicle license plate and the numerical calendar date of the month. Cars with odd numbers can visit the park on odd days of the month, while those with even numbers can go on even days.

The Lamar River’s historic June 2022 flows eroded Yellowstone National Park's Northeast Entrance Road (Credit: National Park Service)

Established in 1872, Yellowstone is America's oldest national park. The 3,472-square-mile reserve spans three states — Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana — and is home to many unique geological features. These include fossil forests, a volcanic glass mountain, and the world's largest concentration — 500 — of active geysers. Old Faithful, which has been erupting at regular intervals for as long as records exist, is the most famous.

Resources: NPS.gov, idahocapitalsun.com, moutainjournal.org

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22 Comments
  • suriya
    suriya14 days
    I hope they rebuild and everyone is okay, not just people but the animals too.
    • layer
      layer22 days
      Sad!!! Pray for them to be able to fix it
      • horsesforlife53
        wow this is so interesting and i love this so much i have really learnt alot
        • adroit_avimimus
          adroit_avimimusabout 1 month
          I hope the local wildlife and people are all okay!
        • pastelea
          pasteleaabout 1 month
          That is good to hear they are opening back up!!!
          • pinkkitty9
            pinkkitty9about 1 month
            I heard about this! So sad. I hope the people and animals were okay!
          • supergamer6158
            supergamer6158about 1 month
            Hopefully people that were having a nice vacation got out of Yellowstone before it happened...
            • lunae
              Luna Eabout 1 month
              That's just so sad. A lot of animals and endangered animals live in Yellowstone and many residents live near Yellowstone. I hope no animal or human died of this [or injured].😢😭
              • aqua_husky
                aqua_huskyabout 1 month
                Wow. That is sad. I hope none of the animals or people were injured or died during this, they have a lot of endangered animals there. 😞😥
                • purplepearls
                  purplepearlsabout 1 month
                  Sad ._. :(