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Yellowstone partially reopening after devastating floods

A ranger near a washed out road in Yellowstone National Park Associated Press/Photo by Matthew Brown

Yellowstone partially reopening after devastating floods

Access to much of the southern half of Yellowstone National Park will open Wednesday after rain and above-average snowmelt caused rivers to surge, closing the park June 15. The flooding wiped out several roads to wildlife viewing areas and turned some towns into dead ends, which could hurt local tourist economies. It could take years for the park to be completely repaired since workers can only do construction between the spring thaw and the first snowfall.

Can tourists visit? The Yellowstone superintendent said that with only half of the park open, it won’t be able to handle the 1 million people who usually tour the park during July and August. To keep numbers low, officials will allow vehicles with odd-numbered last digits on their license plates to enter the park on odd-numbered days and even numbers on even days. Groups in multiple cars and people with reservations at the campground or hotels will not be subject to the rule, but if numbers get too high, the park managers said they may revert to a reservation system to enter the park. 

Dig deeper: Listen to Katie Gaultney’s story in The World and Everything in It podcast on why President Ulysses S. Grant made Yellowstone the first national park. 

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.


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