After floods led to the complete closure of the Yellowstone National Park in the US on Tuesday, the park’s managers have said that parts of the iconic area is likely to remain shut for the remainder of this year.
Tuesday’s evacuation of more than 10,000 civilians from the park and its subsequent closure were precipitated by torrential rainfall and and snowmelt that sent two-months’ worth of run-offs into the Yellowstone River in just two days’ time, leading to widespread and devastating floods.
According to the US National Park Service (NPS), which governs all national parks in the country, aerial reconnaissance photos of the area showed “major damage to multiple sections of road” in the northern part of Yellowstone.
“Many sections of road in these areas are completely gone and will require substantial time and effort to reconstruct. The National Park Service will make every effort to repair these roads as soon as possible; however, it is probable that road sections in northern Yellowstone will not reopen this season,” the government agency said in a statement on Wednesday.
Some entrances of the park, however, could be opened “as early as this weekend,” officials say.
The flood in Yellowstone, which straddles the three states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, also wreaked havoc on communities downstream, washing away everything in its path and leaving thousands without power.
In view of the situation, Montana Governor Greg Gianhoff declared a statewide emergency to “help impacted communities get back on their feet as soon as possible.”
However, no deaths or injuries have been reported thus far, and rescue operations for those stranded are underway.