(CNN) – Yellowstone National Park announced Monday that all entrances were temporarily closed due to “extremely dangerous conditions” caused by “unprecedented” rain and flooding.
Incoming traffic will not be allowed “until conditions are normal and park roads and bridges are assessed for damage,” the post added. The north, northeast, west, south and east entrances are all closed.
“Our first priority is to evacuate the northern part of the park, where there are many road and bridge failures, landslides and other problems,” Superintendent Cam Sholey said in a statement.
Visitors will be evacuated from the park’s southern ring late Monday due to high flood levels and concerns about water and sewage systems, the report said.
The northern ring is likely to be closed “for a considerable time” and the park’s reopening will be determined after the floodwaters recede and damage is assessed.
Gardiner, north of the park, which is currently isolated by dangerous conditions, said park staff are working with district and state to provide support to residents in Montana.
The park said in its posts that power outages were reported in many parts of the park.
“The park does not want to be overwhelmed by the high number of day use visitors in the park as additional rainfall is forecast,” the park said on Facebook and its website.
Flood levels in the Yellowstone River are “beyond record levels,” according to Yellowstone’s website.
“This river has never been so high before my house,” said Elizabeth Aluk, a resident of Gardiner, which serves as a gateway for visitors.
Aluk said he was unable to leave as roads and bridges in the area were washed away as of Monday afternoon.
‘Things got worse’
A family staying in a short-term rental home in Gardiner, near the park entrance, is currently struggling to get out of the rental room as the area is flooded.
The Indiana couple Melissa and Parker Manning rented the CNN location with their family on Saturday and will depart Monday morning.
“It’s not going to happen in no time,” Parker Manning said. “The water level was high on Saturday, but the situation has worsened in the last 10-12 hours.”
The couple joined the call Monday morning with emergency management officials. Officials on the call suggested local businesses consider food distribution.
Manning said they went to the grocery store and told everyone to be smart about what to store and not to panic.
“The way out of our city will be north on 89, but all of those roads are currently underwater,” Manning said.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the city, but Manning hopes it will happen within the next 48 hours.
Their rental host situation was very understandable, Manning added.
Avoid streams and creeks
Earlier on Monday, the park said in a news release that roads in the north of the park would be temporarily closed “for a long time” before posting wide closures.
“Preliminary estimates say many parts of the park’s road between Gardiner and Cook City, Montana have been washed away, and many bridges could be affected,” the release said, adding that visitors are being evacuated to the north.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flood warning for the park on Monday and advised campers and mountaineers to avoid streams and creeks.
“Turn around and do not drown when you encounter flooded roads,” NWS warned motorists.
The NWS reports that Mammoth, Aspray Falls, Indian Creek Campground and Lava Creek Campgrounds are all flood prone areas located in the park.
Top picture: High water levels in the Gartner River along the northern entrance road to Yellowstone National Park.
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