Yellowstone National Park partially reopens after rare flooding | Weather News

The park’s South Loop is open with areas under construction, including areas affected by flooding.

This yellowstone national parkAmerica’s first national park has partially reopened after record flooding and landslides. For the first time in 34 years.

Hundreds of cars, trucks and recreational vehicles lined up at the entrance to the famous park Wednesday morning as park rangers raised their gates at three of Yellowstone’s five entrances.

The park, which spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, has been closed to visitors since June 13, including those booking lodging and camping, when northern Wyoming and southern Montana were closed. 10,000 tourists were ordered to leave as the river swept over its banks after the rapids. Rain has accelerated spring snowmelt. The cost and extent of the damage is still being assessed.

record flooding Reshaping the park’s rivers and canyons, destroying many roads and making some areas known for wildlife viewing inaccessible, likely in the coming months.

Officials at Yellowstone are still calculating the extent of the damage as the South Loop reopens. Depending on the disaster in other national parks, rebuilding could take years and be expensive. It is an environmentally sensitive landscape with a vast system of underground pipes that feed the park’s geysers, hot springs and other thermal facilities. The construction season only runs from the spring thaw to the first snowfall, a narrow window that means some roads will only get temporary fixes this year.

Mouris Dmirovich, 43, of Miami, and his mother, 70, arrived at the east entrance at 5:30 a.m. (11:30 GMT) on Wednesday, second among dozens of cars. Originally from Bosnia, he and his mother were off-road touring national parks, with Yellowstone topping the list.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for me and my mom, so I had to make sure she saw that,” he said.

The closure comes as Yellowstone prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary, and a local community that relies heavily on tourism is counting on a rebound after COVID-19 travel restrictions over the past two summers.

Some of the main attractions of America’s first national park will be back, including Old Faithful Geyser — the fabled geyser that spews towering, steaming water like clockwork nearly a dozen times a day.

But the bears, wolves and bison that roam wild Lamar Valley and the geothermal features around Mammoth Hot Springs will remain out of reach. The wildlife-rich northern half of the park will be closed until at least early July, and the main routes into the park remain cut off near the tourist towns of Gardner, Red Lodge and Cook City in Montana.

It’s unclear how many visitors will show up immediately after the flooding, but the lines suggest that many are sticking to their plans despite uncertainty over when the park will reopen last week. License plates at the east entrance near Red Deer, Wyoming, show them from Indiana, Arkansas, Ohio, Colorado, British Columbia, Canada, and more. The first passers-by don’t have to compete with other traffic, but they must keep an eye out for groundhogs on the road – large ground squirrels.

To reduce the number of visitors while repairs continue, park managers will use a system that will only allow vehicles with license plates ending in an even number to enter on even days, while vehicles with an odd number ending in can enter on odd days.

Groups of tourists traveling together in different cars and people booking campgrounds and hotels in the park are exempt from the license plate system.

If traffic along the park’s 644 kilometers (400 miles) of roads becomes uncontrollable, officials said they will implement a reservation system to enter the park.

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