YELLOWSTONE – An emergency declaration has been issued regarding the flooding in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas.
According to a press release from the governor’s office on Thursday, the declaration will allow the state to seek federal funding assistance for road repairs while analysis of the impact of the flooding in the area continues.
Governor Mark Gordon has been working with National Park Superintendent Cam Shooly and Montana Governor Greg Gianforte as well as state agency heads on a coordinated response to the situation.
“This has been extraordinarily hard on a lot of people and we are doing all we can to assist,” Gordon said. “Thankfully, visitors have been evacuated and we can go about helping local communities, businesses and others address the historic impacts of this flood.”
Wyoming will also aid Montana and the National Park Service as needed.
A section of US Highway 212 between Cooke City, Montana and the intersection of Wyoming Highway 396 in the northwestern part of the state is being maintained temporarily by the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) due to heave spring snowfall. This will ensure residents, first responders and evacuees have access to supplies, lodging, healthcare and other essential services during the current state of emergency, the release stated.
Crews have also cleared bridges in order to evaluate the risks to highway infrastructure as some WYDOT employees worked late on Monday, June 13.
“WYDOT’s top priority is safety, and we want to make sure there is a clear and safe route in and out of the affected area,” WYDOT Director Luke Reiner said.
The release stated impacts have been minimal to Wyoming bridges and roads in the Greater Yellowstone area, but WYDOT will continue to monitor the situation and clear debris from the public right-of-way.
Resources have also been provided by the Wyoming Department of Tourism and Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources to impacted visitors. Resources included expanding state parks capacity and also highlighting other recreational opportunities for visitors impacted by the park’s closure.
“We want to assure the public that we are doing all we can with our partners to open the southern and eastern entrances to the park as quickly as possible,” Gordon said. “Meanwhile there are plentiful opportunities for visitors to enjoy all the wonders of Wyoming, which remains open for business.”
The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security is also working with its counterparts in Montana and in the National Park Service to assess damage, prepare for offering other assistance and ensure public safety.