|Note:||Here is a summary of the events that transpired today. Heavy rain combining with snow melt resulted in the rivers of Yellowstone overflowing their banks on levels we haven't seen in a very long time. At 12:03 am, the road from Tower to the NE Entrance closed, followed by Mammoth to Tower at 6:03 am, Yankee Jim Canyon at 6:17 am, and culminated with all entrances closing at 10:43 am. As the rivers kept rising and the water getting swifter, the pictures and videos began to show the horrors of the flood. Me personally, I saw Red Lodge first. Rock Creek was up on the highway and began flowing past Main Street and on the other side of Red Lodge. Videos showed rivers of water at least 2-3 feet high if not more going through the town. Roads in and out of Red Lodge were closed and part of the city was evacuated. Next was the tragic scenes from the park. Gardiner is cut off. The section of road between Mammoth and the North Entrance has at least 4 sections washed away. In Yankee Jim Canyon, several sections over .25 miles long were washed out, and several bridges were taken off their foundations, including the Carbella Bridge. According to Park County officials, only Mill and Pine Creek Bridges are the only usable bridges in Paradise Valley. The river set a new record high of ~13 feet, beating the record of 11.5 feet, as well as setting a new speed record of 49,200 cubic feet per second at 5 pm today, beating the 1918 record of 30,000 CFS. Between Lamar Valley and Pebble Creek, a section of road got washed away near Trout Lake TH. Between OF and Madison, the firehole river was raging with very muddy and high water. Pictures from Graham show several sections of water in UGB over the banks and flowing onto land(two main sections being on the bridge between the OF Lodge and Geyser Hill crossing the bridge next to Observation Point, as well as between Lion and the Sawmill group on the trail in the trees. Things only got worse as around 4 pm, the NPS issued a full evacuation of Yellowstone due to the flooding, weather conditions, and concerns with a water treatment plant. Everyone had to leave their hotels and leave the park. Teton County Fairgrounds is being set up as an evac center for all the tourists that were camping that had to leave. All hotels, food courts, stores, and businesses in Yellowstone are shut down. It is possible the roads won't open until Friday or later.
If anyone else has more information regarding today's events, please leave a comment. I did not list all info, just most of it. Truly a tragic day in the greatest national park.|