YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK - Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly says park officials hope to reopen the southern loop of the park within a week, but that depends on repairs, especially sewer and water systems and the ability to handle visitors after a devastating flood ripped through parts of the park and southwestern Montana.
The floods were impressive, according to Sholly — the Yellowstone River at Gardiner was recorded at 51,000 CFS Sunday night. The highest ever before that was 31,000 CFS.
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Sholly said there is no estimate on the damage and timeline on repairs — that will have to wait until waters go down and experts arrive. He said washed-out roads in the park may not be rebuilt with the same alignment in order to make them more resistant to future weather events.
He says the hope is that the southern loop will be able to reopen within a week, but that depends on repairs, especially sewer and water systems and the ability to handle visitors. Roads to the north will be closed at Norris and Canyon when the southern loop reopens.
Sholly said there were no injuries to staff or visitors due to the flooding, but he did report one heart attack death at the Madison Campground, but it was not related to the flooding. Twelve people remain in the backcountry but are making their way out and will not need an airlift.