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Yellowstone: Limited reopening from historic flooding ‘highly possible’ starting next week

A road that washed out from flooding is pictured in Yellowstone National park on Monday, June 13, 2022. (YNP via Twitter)

As Yellowstone National Park recovers from historic floods that have ravaged portions of America’s first national park, park officials say that parts of the area may be reopened in a restricted form next week.

The park noted in a news release Friday morning that the west, south and east entrances of Yellowstone are targeted for reopening “as early as next week” as officials continue to assess damage caused by the recent flooding.

Reporting that water levels in the park remain high but have also gone down “substantially” in the past 24 hours, Yellowstone said it’s working to analyze the current capacity of the park’s south loop before reopening it to visitors. Further information about what restrictions would be in place when that happens would be announced by the park soon, it said.

“We have made tremendous progress in a very short amount of time, but have a long way to go,” park superintendent Cam Sholly said in Friday’s release. “We have an aggressive plan for recovery in the north and resumption of operations in the south. … This first 96 hours has been critical to be able to focus on our life safety objectives and stabilizing emergency conditions while preparing plans for recovery.”

All five Yellowstone entrances have been closed by the park for much of the week as the recent weather has drastically affected the terrain and water management systems in and around the surrounding areas. The areas located near the park’s north and northeast entrances, both of which are located in Montana, have been reported by the park to have the worst damage, with sections of road in the region “completely gone.”

Over 10,000 visitors were forced to evacuate Yellowstone once major flooding began, the park said, also noting that no injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the recent events. Employees who lost housing in the affected areas have since been relocated to new units, the park stated.