The effects of the climate crises are readily apparent in early summer this year. Extreme heatwaves are happening across the country, and one small town Gardiner, Montana, is seeing unprecedented flooding at the doors of Yellowstone National Park. The flooding has forced residents and tourists to evacuate, with some stranded because the roads are underwater. One person captured footage of a house lifted from its roots and then floating down the Yellowstone River, and it looks almost entirely intact.
@skynews A house in #YellowstoneNationalPark has been swept away by #floods #weather #yellowstone #fyp ♬ original sound – Sky News
The Yellowstone flood was caused by extreme levels of rain and melted snowfall. At the time of the disaster, Yellowstone had about 10,000 visitors, Yellowstone Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said at a conference. Marshall Shepherd, the director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia, told CNN that this extreme weather is a direct result of the climate crisis. Shepherd says there have been repeated warnings that the current infrastructure is “designed for last century rain intensities.”
The Yellowstone flood has forced all entrances to the park to close for hazards, and many surrounding communities have been left without clean drinking water. Sholly also said in a news statement that when the park will reopen is unknown until the flood ends so officials can properly assess the damage. Governor Greg Gianforte has declared the flooding a statewide disaster, he announced in a tweet.
After working with FEMA yesterday to pursue an expedited presidential major disaster declaration for flooding in our state, we today submitted our formal request to @POTUS.
Securing the declaration will help our communities with our shared response, recovery, and rebuilding.
— Governor Greg Gianforte (@GovGianforte) June 15, 2022
The northern loop of Yellowstone will likely be closed for a significant amount of time. Tourists are being asked to hold off on asking for refunds by the Gardiner tourism board while the region financially recovers.