'A monumental task': Yellowstone superintendent looking toward lengthy recovery

A week after flooding destroyed roads and forced the evacuation of Yellowstone National Park, visitors are back in some sections of the park.

But, Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said in an interview Tuesday, it will be years before repairs to the floods damage is complete.

“I feel better now than I did last Tuesday, but we have a monumental task in front of us,” Sholly said.

Among those tasks: shoring up an old stagecoach road to restore reliable, temporary access between Mammoth Hot Springs and the park’s northern gate in Gardiner, planning temporary bypasses around impacted sections of road between Tower and Cooke City, building a permanent fix to damaged wastewater facilities in Mammoth, reopening the park’s northern loop. Oh, and dealing with visitors who are streaming back into the park’s southern loop during the busy summer season.

Though Sholly said permanent fixes for the roads between Mammoth and Gardiner and Tower and Cooke City will take three to five years, temporary fixes may be available much sooner.

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It’s a lot of work, but the outlook is much rosier than it was last Monday when the flood’s impact was not yet

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