Due to heavy rain and flooding, Yellowstone National Park in the United States has been closed to all visitors until further notice. The park administration spoke on Monday of “record floods” that washed away roads and bridges. She also warned of falling rocks, mudslides and “extremely dangerous conditions” in the park. There were also power outages in several places.
Numerous people were brought to safety and all five entrances were closed. “Our first priority was to evacuate people from the northern parts of the park,” park operator Cam Sholly said in a statement.
The north of the park was hit particularly hard. The village of Gardinger, Montana, was inaccessible due to the flooding. A total of 900 people live there, many of whom are park employees.
“We won’t know when the park will reopen until the floodwaters have receded and we can assess the damage throughout the park,” explains the park operator. The park will definitely remain closed until Wednesday at least.
Rain is also forecast for the coming days. Yellowstone Park was last closed to tourists in the summer during a devastating forest fire in 1988.
The floods were triggered by days of continuous rain and meltwater. Park officials describe the rainfall in the area as “unprecedented.”