During a visit to Gardiner Friday morning, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte told residents and reporters that the primary focus of disaster recovery is reopening Yellowstone National Park, repairing the roads and sewers in the region as quickly as possible, and encouraging tourists not to cancel their travel plans despite the flood damage that occurred in the region earlier this week.
“For people that have planned trips to Yellowstone Park: We’re open. You’ve got to come,” said Gianforte. “There is so much to do in Montana and the vitality of our communities depend on it, and your families need what we have in Montana. So we’re open for business. We want you to come.”
A rain-on-snowpack event caused a massive amount of water to come flooding down the Yellowstone mountain ranges over the weekend washing out roads and destroying bridges and buildings in its wake. Gardiner was completely cut off from the rest of the world for more than a day until road crews could open a path out of the remote mountain town. Also struck by flooding were Red Lodge and much of Carbon and Stillwater counties. Also isolated by the flooding was another mountain gateway town, Cooke City.