Yellowstone will partially resume 9 days after the historic flood

Some of America’s first national park attractions will be visible again, but the northern half of the park will be closed until at least early July.

Wapiti, Wyoming — Many tourists see the legendary Old Faithful geyser towering steam as visitors return on Wednesday for a partial reopening of Yellowstone National Park after a devastating flood. I was happy to see the water spouting out.

Park managers have said that since 10,000 visitors were ordered on June 13, after rivers in northern Wyoming and southern Montana surged across embankments following heavy rains that accelerated spring snowmelt. For the first time, I raised the gate at three of the five entrances to Yellowstone. The cost and extent of the damage is still under assessment, Yellowstone director Kam Sholy said Wednesday.

The vacant roads and parking lots were rapidly congested by the morning after an estimated 2,000-3,000 vehicles entered the park in the first few hours in long lines extending miles (kilometers) at one gate. ..

Paul Nithyanand of Chennai, India, gathered around Old Faithful with 1,500 people in the afternoon and saw it erupt. Nisianand was touring the western United States with his brother and he had already seen the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, but said nothing on his trip compared to Old Faithful.

“That’s amazing,” said Nithyanand, who was very impressed as he waited about 80 minutes for him to erupt again. “I see it in movies and YouTube, and it’s great to see it live.”

Ronnie and Graham McMillan, who live in Vancouver, Canada, participated in a so-called “bison jam” where a group of muscular animals crossed the road. Bison sightings conclude a successful morning when they have already seen two moose and numerous deer.

They appeared in the park last week, but they just turned their backs because they were evacuating. They detoured to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota for a few days, turned to the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming, and then returned to Yellowstone as soon as they had the chance.

“The overall purpose of our trip was to come here,” said Ronnie McMillan. “I didn’t mean to go home until I got here.”

Record floods have reshaped park rivers and canyons, cleared numerous roads, and made some areas famous for wildlife observation inaccessible, perhaps in the coming months. It was a hit, just as the park celebrated its 150th anniversary in a year after recording 4.9 million visitors, and the summer tourist season with millions of visitors surged.

Some of America’s first national park attractions could be seen again, including Old Faithful. Old Faithful spouts steam water more than 12 times a day like a clockwork.

However, the thermal features around bears, wolves, bison, and mammoth hot springs roaming the wild Lamar Valley are out of reach. The park’s wildlife-rich northern half was closed until at least early July, leaving major routes to the park cut off near Montana’s tourist cities of Gardiner, Red Lodge and Cooke City. Become.

Miami’s Murris Demirovich, 43, and his 70-year-old mother arrived at the eastern entrance around 5:30 am and were second in a row of dozens of cars. From Bosnia, he and his mother took part in a cross-country trip to a national park, and Yellowstone was at the top of their list.

But when they arrived, they were closed due to the flood. Demilovich and his mother toured Cody, Wyoming, went to the rodeo, walked several paths, and visited the museum. They were planning to leave the Yellowstone area on Monday, but stayed when they learned that the park would reopen.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip for me and my mother, so I had to make sure she saw this,” he said.

To reduce the number of visitors while continuing repairs, park managers, with a few exceptions, have a system that allows only cars with an even last number on the license plate to enter even days. I’m using. day to day.

Park rangers had to turn back less than 1% of the people in line due to license plate issues, and they were turning back before they lined up in long lines to enter the park, Sholly said. ..

If traffic along the park’s 400-mile (644 kilometers) road becomes unmanageable, Sholly said authorities will impose an admission reservation system.

Along the road to the south entrance to Yellowstone, Wyoming, a long, slow-moving line of cars meandered along the road, flashing “Yellowstone is closed” for days, but the park. Warned the driver that access was restricted and open.

Gracie Brennan of Kentucky and her two friends went to Yellowstone as part of a tour of the national park.

“Old Faithful was the main thing I wanted to see, so if you can get there, it doesn’t really matter where you go,” Brennan said.

Resumption is coming as Yellowstone officials are still tabulating the extent of the damage. Based on disasters in other national parks Rebuilding can take years and can come with expensive price tags. It is an environmentally sensitive landscape with a huge underground plumbing system that leads to geysers, hot springs and other thermal features of the park. The construction season lasts only from the thaw in spring to the first snowfall. This is a narrow window, which means that some roads will only receive temporary repairs this year.

This has left some Montana communities at a dead end rather than a gateway to Yellowstone, damaging tourism-dependent economies. They are also still struggling to wipe out the damage to hundreds of homes and businesses that have been flooded.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, who was criticized last week for not revealing that he was abroad until two days after the flood, was not in the park for Wednesday’s reopening. Spokesperson Brooke Stroke said Gianforte will meet with his ministers and be briefed on how to respond to and recover from the flood.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon wasn’t in the park either, his spokesman Michael Pearlman said.

Tiffany Jahn of Kenosha, Wisconsin, with her husband and daughter lined up at the southern entrance to Wyoming, is excited to see what’s still open, especially hoping for a glimpse of the park’s wildlife. I said that I am.

“We were actually coming last week and received the message,’Don’t come, don’t come,'” she said. “But we were already here, so we changed the plan to make it work.”

Hanson reported from Helena, Montana. The Associated Press writer Rebecca Santana, located at the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, contributed to this report.

Yellowstone will partially resume 9 days after the historic flood

Source link Yellowstone will partially resume 9 days after the historic flood

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