Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly Addresses How Yellowstone Is Planning to Move Forward Immediately After Historic Floods

Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly Addresses How Yellowstone Is Planning to Move Forward Immediately After Historic Floods

June 14th, 2022. 11:10am MST

The following information is directly from Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cameron (Cam) Sholly via multiple sources. This is all the information we currently have from Yellowstone National Park and I will be updating this and other relevant information as quickly as I can. Please know that this situation is still new and things can and will change. Be aware that this statement does not address a reopening time. Rumor has it that some entrances may open on Thursday or Friday, but that remains to be seen. Do not anticipate those dates as truth. The park will reopen when the park reopens. Sorry for the long headline. 

Here are the short and long-term objectives we’ve set and will be focused on as a park for recovery:
• Ensure safety of employees and visitor

• Implement full visitor closure of the northern loop (completed yesterday)

• Implement full visitor closure of the southern loop (ongoing target completion today)

• Implement full visitor closure of the backcountry (in process)

• Evaluate needs for backcountry evacuations (begin today – assess how many people are in the backcountry, evacuation plan)

• Improve Old Gardiner Road (work should begin on this today or tomorrow once precipitation subsides. Plan will be to use this road for admin travel and to evacuate visitors from Gardiner should Hwy 89 remain impassable)

• Restore power to northern Yellowstone sites and Canyon, Lake, and Norris (Northwestern Energy working on this now and are saying should be restored today)

• Evacuate Gardiner visitors through Old Gardiner Road if necessary (likely Thursday or Friday if possible and if Hwy 89 is not open)

• Support Gardiner residents with resupply of food, water and medicine (we will be working with the Gardiner Market and others to determine needs of the community. We may bring supply trucks to Mammoth and fly supplies to Gardiner using the park’s aircraft and potentially National Guard air support; working with county and state)

• Support isolated NPS residents at NE entrance with resupply through aircraft when necessary (employees at NE entrance are sheltering in place, we are in contact with them and will gauge their needs to provide assistance. They are cut off from Cooke City)

• Provide support to Cooke City residents as necessary

• Mitigate wastewater impacts of destroyed sewer lines in Gardiner and Mammoth (ongoing)

• Relocate all Mammoth-based concessions employees to properties on the southern loop (happening today and tomorrow)

• Halt and redirect any inbound employees hired to work in Mammoth or Tower who haven’t arrived yet

• Support employees who lost housing in Gardiner (multiple actions)

• Prepare for outside teams to travel to Yellowstone and assist with damage assessments when water recedes (mixture of Federal Highways, NPS, and other)

• Prepare strategy for reservation system for southern loop for remainder of the year (we will not allow full visitation into the southern loop when it reopens and are working on options to control the amount of visitors who can enter the park; southern loop will likely not open for another 5 days at minimum)

• Develop long-term reconstruction strategy based on damage assessments; funding strategies TBD with region/WASO/DOI

• Continue substantive communications with gateway communities, congressional and DOI/NPS leadership

• Continue media outreach

 

 

End of message.

Stay safe and be patient, everyone.

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