Sit Rep 1 – Friday, June 17, 2022
You have probably seen the footage of a very large two-story home falling over the river embankment and straight into the river is one of the hardest images to erase from your mind, little alone feel terrible for the homeowners. This is one of several images seen online and on TV, of the devastation inside the Yellowstone National Park due to heavy rain. The 1,000-year flood began when temps were warm enough to melt mountain snow toppled with heavy rains.
This historic and devastating flooding incident began on June 12, 2022.
Due to the extremely dangerous conditions, fast-flowing water, and road washouts, all of the park entrances and roads are temporarily closed, as well as the backcountry. The closure went into effect on June 14, 2022. Other extensive damage in the Park includes historic water levels causing flooding, rockslides, and mudslides impacting roads, water and wastewater systems, powerlines, and other critical park infrastructure.
On Friday morning, Yellowstone NPS indicated they are working to recover from historic flooding and there is a possibility of a limited reopening next week on the south loop entrance with some modifications.
“We have made tremendous progress in a very short amount of time but have a long way to go. We have an aggressive plan for recovery in the north and resumption of operations in the south. We appreciate the tremendous support from National Park Service and Department of the Interior leadership, in addition to our surrounding Congressional delegations, governors, counties, communities, and other partners.” – Cam Sholly, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent
BE IN THE KNOW
YELLOWSTONE NPS WEBSITE – Stay informed. Check out their Q&A on their site. https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/flood-recovery.htm
RESOURCES TO THE RESCUE
MONTANA NATIONAL GUARD
16 MT National Guard Soldiers arrived in Red Lodge to provide support to law enforcement and construction crews by manning 5 check points along Main St. & helping the Red Cross with the delivery of food/supplies to the town of Roscoe, which also sustained damage due to the flooding. (6/17/2022)
Since 13 June, six Montana National Guard helicopters have flown 56 hours and rescued 88 people. We currently have 16 Soldiers on the ground in Red Lodge assisting with keeping travelers safe along Highway 212. (6/16/2022)
At the request of Carbon County, 16 MTNG Soldiers have been mobilized to assist with the safety of travelers along damaged roads in the Red Lodge area. These Soldiers departed Fort Harrison at 3:30 p.m. and are scheduled to arrive in the flood area Wednesday evening. (6/15/2022)
THROUGH THE EYES OF SOCIAL MEDIA
“Major Montana gateways to Yellowstone are closed, businesses now shuttered.”
The unprecedented flooding at Yellowstone National Park could lead to closures for the rest of the summer due to damage, hurting tourist season in a town — Red Lodge, Montana — that relies on travelers. – Media
Damaging floods that tore through Yellowstone National Park threaten to cut off fresh drinking water supplies to Billings, Montana’s largest city. – Media (6/16/2022)
Montana’s largest city has restarted its water plant after shutting it down amid record flooding that’s caused widespread damage in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities. – Media (6/16/2022)
Sweet Grass County is working to repair roads and bridges damaged by floodwaters, and is prioritizing the North Yellowstone Trail. – Media (6/16/2022)
A national park analysis completed in 2021 found that nearly 75% of parks are at risk from the effects of climate change. A look at the ones most at risk. – USAA Today (6/17/2022) Article here –> https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/experience/america/national-parks/2022/06/17/photos-national-parks-being-threatened-climate-change/7633991001/
The National Guard has rescued 87 people in Montana as extreme flooding wipes out bridges, destroys roads, and forces more than 10,000 visitors out of Yellowstone National Park. – Media (6/16/2022)
“Lodging will not survive,” said Chelsea DeWeese, manager of the Yellowstone River Motel. – Media (6/17/2022)
Residents in a Montana city have been told to ration their water or it will run out within 36 hours after “unprecedented” amounts of flooding at Yellowstone National Park knocked out its water treatment plant. – Media (6/17/2022)
“Montana seeks disaster declaration for flooding; early estimates show at least $29 million in damages to roads, bridges.” – Media (6/15/2022)
Many business owners in Gardiner and nearby gateway communities to Yellowstone are grappling with the loss of tourism for the foreseeable future after flooding damaged multiple roads in the park. – MT media (6/16/2022)
Although Flathead County isn’t experiencing major flooding at this time, minor flooding is happening all throughout the Flathead, Sheriff Brian Heino says. – MT media (6/15/2022)
‘Breaks my heart’: Park City veteran’s home washes away in Yellowstone River. – Media (6/16/2022)
Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office rescued three people from flooding on Wednesday, and also helped tend to several fires that shut down both lanes of I-90. – MT media (6/16/2022)
Watching roads, bridges, and houses getting swept away by climate-change fuelled floods is not the new normal we were hoping for. – Greenpeace Canada (6/17/2022)
The floodwaters on the Yellowstone River were so powerful they swept away an entire home in Gardiner, Montana, which was housing for multiple Yellowstone National Park workers. – WX Media (6/14/2022)
(c) 2022 NW Fire Blog