Update: Yellowstone Closed Until June 15 “at Minimum”
In an update, the National Park Service announced that Yellowstone will be closed on June 14 and 15 at minimum, with more information on when the park will reopen to be provided as it becomes available.
According to a press release by the Yellowstone National Park, all entrances to Yellowstone are temporarily closed due to substantial flooding, rockslides, and mudslides on various roadways from recent unprecedented rainfall and flooding.
No visitors, including those with camping or lodging reservations, will be allowed into the park until conditions stabilize and the park is able to assess the damage.
An original release from the park, posted at 9:21 a.m., stated that only the northern portion of Yellowstone was closed, but that was changed as more details became available.
The power is out in multiple locations in the park and many roads could remain closed for an unknown amount of time.
Multiple sections of roads in the park have been washed out between Gardiner and Cooke City, Montana, according to the original release.
However, that was changed in the updated release, posted at 11:10 a.m., to multiple roads in the southern portion of the park being on the verge of flooding.
Visitors in the northern section of the park are being evacuated, though it is unclear how many people there are or where they are being evacuated to.
US Highway 89 South is closed at Yankee Jim Canyon due to approximately three feet of water on the road.
The National Park Service, surrounding counties, and the states of Montana and Wyoming will work with the gateway communities to evaluate flooding impacts and provide support to residents, according to the release.
Rainfall is expected to continue for the next several days, with the release stating that flood levels in the Yellowstone river are "beyond record levels."
Below is a video of the Tom Miner Bridge collapsing due to flooding, posted to Facebook at 8:22 a.m.
Cameron Sholly, the superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, said in a statement in response to the flooding:
"Due to record flooding events in the park and more precipitation in the forecast, we have made the decision to close Yellowstone to all inbound visitation," Sholly said. "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. The community of Gardiner is currently isolated, and we are working with the county and State of Montana to provide necessary support to residents, who are currently without water and power in some areas. Due to predictions of higher flood levels in areas of the park’s southern loop, in addition to concerns with water and wastewater systems, we will begin to move visitors in the southern loop out of the park later today in coordination with our in-park business partners. We will not know timing of the park’s reopening until flood waters subside and we're able to assess the damage throughout the park. It is likely that the northern loop will be closed for a substantial amount of time. I appreciate the efforts of the Yellowstone team and partners to safely evacuate areas of the park and of our gateway community partners who are helping us through this major event. We appreciate the support offered by the Department of Interior, National Park Service, and the Montana and Wyoming governors."