Travelers and residents were trapped in the Yellowstone National Park gateway city of Gardiner on Monday after massive river flooding damaged roads.
The flooding was caused by rain falling on snowpack, turning what would’ve been several days’ worth of snowmelt into a few hours of rushing water, the Park County Sheriff’s Office announced in a Monday Facebook post.
Mudslides and rock slides piled onto already waterlogged U.S. Highway 89, forcing the road to be closed. The road between Gardiner and Yellowstone’s headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, was shut down due to rock and water damage to the narrow cliff-side road, eliminating the other primary route north out of Gardiner.
Highway 89 in Yankee Jim Canyon north of Gardiner is covered with Yellowstone River flood water as historic flooding damages roads and bridges and floods homes along area rivers on Monday.
LARRY MAYER, Billings Gazette
Even if the roads weren’t officially closed, most wouldn’t be able to be driven through the several feet of water rushing over the pavement. Resigned to staying in one place, many travelers have lined