Yellowstone partially reopens after historic floods

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© Reuters. This still image is taken from a social media video posted on June 14, 2022, of a view showing rocks sliding down a hillside at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana, U.S., June 12, 2022. hit the car.Anne Leipold/via Reuters

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by Randy Love

(Reuters) – Yellowstone partially reopened under restrictions for the first time in 34 years after historic flooding forced the entire national park to close on June 13.

According to a notice on its website, 80 percent of the 2.2 million-acre park is open through three entrances on its South Loop, which spans parts of Idaho and Wyoming. Accessible areas include Old Faithful Geyser.

The park’s North Loop, which has two entrances from Montana, remains closed while repairs to roads, water and sewage systems, power lines, and other infrastructure for the park and surrounding communities are completed. Close includes Mammoth Hot Springs.

Visitors without proof of overnight bookings will be allowed the next day based on their license plates. Visitors with an odd last digit or no license plate can enter on odd days of the month, while visitors with even license plates are allowed on even days.

About 3 million visits were recorded in Yellowstone last summer. This summer is the flagship park’s 150th anniversary season.

Unprecedented heavy rains last week triggered record floods and landslides. National Weather Service forecaster Bill Murrell said 2 to 3 inches of rain fell in the northern part of the park, up to 3.5 inches in remote areas and 1 to 2 inches in the south.

All five park entrances were closed for the first summer since wildfires forced the park to close in 1988.

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