Yellowstone Park ravaged by unprecedented flooding

Yellowstone National Park, one of the most famous in the United States and in the world, was completely closed on Tuesday due to floods and landslides which cut roads and isolated some villages. All entrances to this 9,000 km2 park, straddling the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho (northwest), are affected by this closure linked to “extremely dangerous conditions” caused by a flooded river and torrential rains.

Images released by the National Parks Agency show a section of road that collapsed, undermined by the flow of the Gardner River in Wyoming. CNN filmed a wooden building falling into a flooded stream.

An isolated village

“Due to record flooding in the park and further expected rainfall, we have made the decision to close Yellowstone to entry for all visitors,” national park official Cam Sholly said Monday. “Our number one priority has been to evacuate the northern part of the park where there are multiple cut roads and bridges, mudslides and other issues,” noting that the village of Gardiner is “currently isolated.”

“We won’t know when the park will reopen until stream levels have dropped and we can assess the damage throughout the park,” added Cam Sholly. The northwestern quarter of the United States has seen well above normal rainfall in recent weeks. According to the weather services, these rains combined with a rapid melting of the ice under the effect of high temperatures to swell the course of the rivers.

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