Yellowstone is closed for the first time in 34 years due to severe flooding


Record floods and landslides caused by an unprecedented series of torrential rains led to the closure of all five entrances to Yellowstone National Park on June 13 at the beginning of the summer tourist season, France 24 channel reports.

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The entire park, located in the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, will remain closed to visitors while specialists check damage to roads, bridges and other facilities.

All five entrances to the park were closed for the first time in 34 years — after a series of devastating forest fires in 1988. The U.S. National Park Service said it is working to evacuate visitors and staff, especially from the hardest-hit northern part of Yellowstone.

Power outages were observed in the park's territory, and, according to preliminary estimates, many roads in the park were either washed out or littered with stones and mud, and several bridges were also damaged. It will probably take months to fully recover, as further rains are forecast.

Floods and landslides were caused by heavy rains in most of the Intermountain West. The Park Service called the rainfall and flooding that hit the reserve unprecedented, and the water level in the Yellowstone River exceeded record levels.

A sharp jump in summer temperatures over the past three days has also accelerated the melting of snow in the high-altitude areas of the park.

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