Yellowstone National Park will remain closed to visitors through at least Wednesday due to dangerous flooding conditions, which have prompted park evacuations and left some in surrounding communities trapped without safe drinking water, officials announced Monday afternoon.
“Our first priority has been to evacuate the northern section of the park where we have multiple road and bridge failures, mudslides and other issues,” Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly said in a statement Monday.
A road in Yellowstone National Park partially collapsed due to flooding Monday.
The Yellowstone River, which runs through the park and several Park County cities, swelled to a record high Monday due to recent heavy rainfall and significant runoff from melting snow in higher elevations, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.
The Yellowstone River gauge at Corwin Springs, Montana, reached 13.88 feet Monday afternoon, surpassing the historical high crest of 11.5 feet from 1918, NOAA river gauge data shows. “The river is still rising near Livingston, and it is expected to crest between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Monday,” Park County officials said on Facebook.
Some are evacuated while others remain trapped
As several roads and bridges are rendered impassable by floodwaters, park and county officials are working to evacuate whoever they can and provide support to those who are unable to leave.
The Park County Sheriff’s Department issued a shelter in place order until 7 a.m. Monday for those south of mile marker 52.5 on US Highway 89 South, the Facebook post said.
The National Guard and local search and rescue teams were assisting with evacuations and rescues throughout the county, including two air lifts and one swift water rescue, the county said.
Multiple communities in Park County are isolated and surrounded by water, including Gardiner, Cooke City and Silver Gate, an update on the county Facebook page said. Quickly rushing floodwaters have also damaged homes, as images show houses either partially or fully collapsing.
In neighboring Carbon County, Montana, flooding compromised utility service lines, leaving many customers in Red Lodge without power, officials said.
Meanwhile, several roads and bridges in Yellowstone have also been compromised by flooding, park officials say. Videos released by the park show portions of paved road washed out or severely eroded.
CNN’s Sara Smart, Claudia Dominguez, Raja Razek, Brandon Miller and Amanda Jackson contributed to this report.
Read the full report here.