Yellowstone under a deluge of heavy rain
Several dozen people isolated by the floods that hit Yellowstone National Park and neighbouring towns in the United States were evacuated this week by helicopter, announced the Montana State National Guard.
The brave National Guardsmen hoisted 87 people cut off from the outside world, and in some cases deprived of electricity and drinking water, by floodwaters that washed out roads and bridges. “At the request of local authorities, the Montana National Guard continues to assist with search and rescue operations,” a statement said.
More than 10,000 visitors were forced to evacuate Yellowstone National Park, one of the most famous national parks in the United States, where all accesses remained closed Thursday, June 16. Due to flood damage, the northern part of the park is not expected to reopen before the end of the summer season, officials at the 9,000-square-mile park, which straddles the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho (Northwest), warned. Stunning images of portions of roads undercut by the floodwaters were released by the National Park Agency to illustrate the extent of the damage.
After an aerial survey “major damage to multiple sections of the road” connecting different sites in the northern part of the park, some of which were completely washed away. Officials at Yellowstone Park, which welcomed more than 4.8 million visitors last year, will study the conditions for partially reopening the park on the south side.
Several communities bordering the park’s north side in Montana also experienced significant flooding, with bridges and roads washed out in Park County.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte declared a state of natural disaster throughout Montana to “help affected communities recover as quickly as possible.”
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