Gateway towns to Yellowstone become dead ends after flood

A road ends where floodwaters washed away a house in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. Yellowstone officials are hopeful that next week they can reopen the southern half of the park, which includes Old Faithful geyser. Park officials say the northern half of the park, however, is likely to remain closed all summer, a devastating blow to the local economies that rely on tourism. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

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A road ends where floodwaters washed away a house in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. Yellowstone officials are hopeful that next week they can reopen the southern half of the park, which includes Old Faithful geyser. Park officials say the northern half of the park, however, is likely to remain closed all summer, a devastating blow to the local economies that rely on tourism. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Businesses in some of the gateway towns leading to Yellowstone National Park are worried about the coming weeks and months after severe flooding closed the park

RED LODGE, Mont. (AP) — This gateway town to Yellowstone National Park has become a dead end, a casualty of the severe flooding that tore through one of America’s most beloved natural attractions and swept away roads, bridges and homes.

The unprecedented flood has closed the entire park and forced the evacuation of 10,000 visitors. And towns like Red Lodge that lead to Yellowstone's northern entrances and rely on tourists passing through could suffer all summer.

Officials have said the park's southern part, which features Old Faithful, could reopen as soon as next week. But the north end, which includes Tower Fall and the bears and wolves of Lamar Valley, could stay closed for months after sections of major roads inside Yellowstone were washed away or buried in rockfall. Roads leading to the park also have widespread damage that could take months to repair.

Red Lodge is facing a double disaster: It will have to clean up the damage done by the deluge to parts of town and also figure out how to survive without the summer business that normally sustains it for the rest of the year.

“Winters are hard in Red Lodge,” Chris Prindiville said as he hosed mud from the sidewalk outside his shuttered cafe, which had no fresh water or gas for his stoves. “You have to make your money in the summer so you can make it when the bills keep coming and the visitors have stopped.”

At least 88 people were rescued by the Montana National Guard over the past few days from campsites and small towns, and hundreds of homes, including nearly 150 in Red Lodge, were damaged by muddy waters. One large house that was home to six park employees in the town of Gardiner was ripped from its foundation and floated 5 miles (8 kilometers) downstream before sinking. Four to five homes could still topple into the Stillwater River, which already washed several cabins away, according to a spokeswoman for Stillwater County.

No deaths or serious injuries have been reported.

Red Lodge was under a boil-water advisory, and trucks supplied drinking water to half of the town that was without it. Portable toilets were strategically placed for those who couldn’t flush at home.

The Yodeler Motel, once home to Finnish coal miners, faced its first shutdown since it began operating as a lodge in 1964. Owner Mac Dean said he is going to have to gut the lower level, where 13 rooms flooded in chest-high waters.

“Rock Creek seemed to take in its own course,” he said. “It just jumped the bank and it came right down Main Street and it hit us.”

Dean had been counting on a busy summer tied to the park's 150th anniversary. The Yodeler had the most bookings in the 13 years Dean and his wife have owned the business. Now he's hoping to get some help, possibly from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“The damage is catastrophic,” he said. “We’re between a rock and a hard place. And if we don’t get some assistance, we’re not gonna make it.”

Yellowstone is one of the crown jewels of the park system, a popular summer playground that appeals to adventurous backpackers camping in grizzly country, casual hikers walking past steaming geothermal features, nature lovers gazing at elk, bison, bears and wolves from the safety of their cars, and amateur photographers and artists trying to capture the pink and golden hues of the cliffs of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and its thundering waterfall.

All 4 million visitors a year have to pass through the small towns that border the park's five entrances.

The flooding — triggered by a combination of torrential rain and rapid snowmelt — hit just as hotels around Yellowstone were filling up with summer tourists. June is typically one of Yellowstone’s busiest months.

President Joe Biden declared a disaster in Montana, ordering federal assistance be made available.

The tourism season had started well for Cara McGary, who guides groups through the Lamar Valley to see wolves, bison, elk and bears. She had seen more than 20 grizzlies some days this year.

Now, with the road from Gardiner into northern Yellowstone washed out, the wildlife is still there, but it’s out of reach to McGary. Her guide business, In Our Nature, is suddenly in trouble.

“The summer that we prepared for is not at all similar to the summer that we’re going to have,” she said. “This is an 80% to 100% loss of business during the high season.”

In Gardiner, where the park’s north entrance is located, the town escaped flooding but briefly became home to hundreds of park visitors stranded when the road into town was closed off along the surging Yellowstone River. They didn’t stick around when it reopened Tuesday.

“Town is eerie right now,” Katie Gale said Wednesday. “We had all those folks trapped in here, and then as soon as they opened the road … it was just like someone just pulled the plug in bathtub.”

Officials and business leaders are hoping Gardiner, Red Lodge and other small communities can draw visitors even without access to the park.

Sarah Ondrus, owner of Paradise Adventure Company, that rents out cabins and “glamping” tepees and offers rafting, kayaking and horseback riding trips, was frustrated she was getting so many cancellations.

“Montana and Wyoming still exist. I don’t know how I can convince these people,” Ondrus said. “Once our water quality is good and our law enforcement thinks it’s OK, we’re good to go again. It’s still a destination. You can still horseback ride, go to cowboy cookouts, hike in the national forest.”

That could be a tall order for anyone coming from the south or east sides of the park who had hoped to exit in the north. After the southern portion of the park reopens, it would take an almost 200-mile (320 kilometers) detour through West Yellowstone and Bozeman to reach Gardiner. It would require a nearly 300-mile (480 kilometers) drive from Cody, Wyoming.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, has faced criticism from Democrats and members of the public for being out of the country during the disaster.

Spokesperson Brooke Stroyke said the governor had left last week on a long-scheduled personal trip with his wife and was due back Thursday. She would not say where he was, citing security reasons.

In his absence, Montana’s Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras signed an emergency disaster declaration Tuesday.

___

Melley reported from in Los Angeles. Associated Press journalists Brittany Peterson in Red Lodge, Amy Beth Hanson in Helena, Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Lindsay Whitehurst in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.

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A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

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A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

Combined ShapeCaption
A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

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A house sits in Rock Creek after floodwaters washed away a road and a bridge in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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A volunteer cleans out a flooded basement Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

A volunteer cleans out a flooded basement Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

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A volunteer cleans out a flooded basement Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

Credit: Rick Bowmer

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Katie Gale, and her dog, Rory, wait for customers at Paradise Adventure Company which sits across from the entrance to Yellowstone National Park, a major tourist attraction now closed due to the historic floodwaters, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Gardiner, Mont. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Katie Gale, and her dog, Rory, wait for customers at Paradise Adventure Company which sits across from the entrance to Yellowstone National Park, a major tourist attraction now closed due to the historic floodwaters, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Gardiner, Mont. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

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Katie Gale, and her dog, Rory, wait for customers at Paradise Adventure Company which sits across from the entrance to Yellowstone National Park, a major tourist attraction now closed due to the historic floodwaters, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Gardiner, Mont. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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In this photo released by the Montana National Guard, helicopter crew members are seen supporting search and rescue operations near Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 16, 2022. Floodwaters that rushed through Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities earlier this week are moving through Montana's largest city, flooding farms and ranches and forcing the shutdown of its water treatment plant. (Montana National Guard via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

In this photo released by the Montana National Guard, helicopter crew members are seen supporting search and rescue operations near Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 16, 2022. Floodwaters that rushed through Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities earlier this week are moving through Montana's largest city, flooding farms and ranches and forcing the shutdown of its water treatment plant. (Montana National Guard via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

Combined ShapeCaption
In this photo released by the Montana National Guard, helicopter crew members are seen supporting search and rescue operations near Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 16, 2022. Floodwaters that rushed through Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities earlier this week are moving through Montana's largest city, flooding farms and ranches and forcing the shutdown of its water treatment plant. (Montana National Guard via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

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In this photo released by the Montana National Guard, a helicopter crew member is seen above a flooded home during search and rescue operations near Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 16, 2022. Floodwaters that rushed through Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities earlier this week are moving through Montana's largest city, flooding farms and ranches and forcing the shutdown of its water treatment plant. (Montana National Guard via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

In this photo released by the Montana National Guard, a helicopter crew member is seen above a flooded home during search and rescue operations near Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 16, 2022. Floodwaters that rushed through Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities earlier this week are moving through Montana's largest city, flooding farms and ranches and forcing the shutdown of its water treatment plant. (Montana National Guard via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

Combined ShapeCaption
In this photo released by the Montana National Guard, a helicopter crew member is seen above a flooded home during search and rescue operations near Yellowstone National Park, Thursday, June 16, 2022. Floodwaters that rushed through Yellowstone National Park and surrounding communities earlier this week are moving through Montana's largest city, flooding farms and ranches and forcing the shutdown of its water treatment plant. (Montana National Guard via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

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Crews work to fill in sections of residential streets washed away by recent floodwaters in Red Lodge, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Crews work to fill in sections of residential streets washed away by recent floodwaters in Red Lodge, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

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Crews work to fill in sections of residential streets washed away by recent floodwaters in Red Lodge, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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Cheryl Pruitt holds a damaged Mother's Day frame given to her daughter by her grandkids as she helps clean out their flooded home in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. On Wednesday, residents in Red Lodge, a gateway town to Yellowstone Park's northern end, used shovels, wheelbarrows and a pump to clear thick mud and debris from flooded homes along the banks of Rock Creek. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Cheryl Pruitt holds a damaged Mother's Day frame given to her daughter by her grandkids as she helps clean out their flooded home in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. On Wednesday, residents in Red Lodge, a gateway town to Yellowstone Park's northern end, used shovels, wheelbarrows and a pump to clear thick mud and debris from flooded homes along the banks of Rock Creek. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

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Cheryl Pruitt holds a damaged Mother's Day frame given to her daughter by her grandkids as she helps clean out their flooded home in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. On Wednesday, residents in Red Lodge, a gateway town to Yellowstone Park's northern end, used shovels, wheelbarrows and a pump to clear thick mud and debris from flooded homes along the banks of Rock Creek. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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Kirstyn Brown, left, cleans out damaged clothing from her flooded home with the help of her mother, Cheryl Pruitt, right, and her sister-in-law, Randi Pruitt, in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. On Wednesday, residents in Red Lodge, a gateway town to Yellowstone Park's northern end, used shovels, wheelbarrows and a pump to clear thick mud and debris from flooded homes along the banks of Rock Creek. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Kirstyn Brown, left, cleans out damaged clothing from her flooded home with the help of her mother, Cheryl Pruitt, right, and her sister-in-law, Randi Pruitt, in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. On Wednesday, residents in Red Lodge, a gateway town to Yellowstone Park's northern end, used shovels, wheelbarrows and a pump to clear thick mud and debris from flooded homes along the banks of Rock Creek. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

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Kirstyn Brown, left, cleans out damaged clothing from her flooded home with the help of her mother, Cheryl Pruitt, right, and her sister-in-law, Randi Pruitt, in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. On Wednesday, residents in Red Lodge, a gateway town to Yellowstone Park's northern end, used shovels, wheelbarrows and a pump to clear thick mud and debris from flooded homes along the banks of Rock Creek. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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Pedestrians walk down a street washed away from Rock Creek floodwaters in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Pedestrians walk down a street washed away from Rock Creek floodwaters in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

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Pedestrians walk down a street washed away from Rock Creek floodwaters in Red Lodge, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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Receding floodwaters flow past sections of North Entrance Road washed away at Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. Yellowstone officials are hopeful that next week they can reopen the southern half of the park, which includes Old Faithful geyser. Park officials say the northern half of the park, however, is likely to remain closed all summer, a devastating blow to the local economies that rely on tourism. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Receding floodwaters flow past sections of North Entrance Road washed away at Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. Yellowstone officials are hopeful that next week they can reopen the southern half of the park, which includes Old Faithful geyser. Park officials say the northern half of the park, however, is likely to remain closed all summer, a devastating blow to the local economies that rely on tourism. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Combined ShapeCaption
Receding floodwaters flow past sections of North Entrance Road washed away at Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. Yellowstone officials are hopeful that next week they can reopen the southern half of the park, which includes Old Faithful geyser. Park officials say the northern half of the park, however, is likely to remain closed all summer, a devastating blow to the local economies that rely on tourism. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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Mac Dean, owner of the Yodeler Motel, moves a water-logged mattress from a lower level room Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. His business was one of about 250 buildings that flooded in Carbon County when torrential rains swelled waterways across the Yellowstone region. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)

Credit: Brittany Peterson

Mac Dean, owner of the Yodeler Motel, moves a water-logged mattress from a lower level room Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. His business was one of about 250 buildings that flooded in Carbon County when torrential rains swelled waterways across the Yellowstone region. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)

Credit: Brittany Peterson

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Mac Dean, owner of the Yodeler Motel, moves a water-logged mattress from a lower level room Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. His business was one of about 250 buildings that flooded in Carbon County when torrential rains swelled waterways across the Yellowstone region. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)

Credit: Brittany Peterson

Credit: Brittany Peterson

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Marvin Rodenbeck and Mac Dean move a soaked futon from a motel basement Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. The Yodeler Motel was one of about 250 buildings that flooded in Carbon County when torrential rains swelled waterways across the Yellowstone region. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)

Credit: Brittany Peterson

Marvin Rodenbeck and Mac Dean move a soaked futon from a motel basement Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. The Yodeler Motel was one of about 250 buildings that flooded in Carbon County when torrential rains swelled waterways across the Yellowstone region. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)

Credit: Brittany Peterson

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Marvin Rodenbeck and Mac Dean move a soaked futon from a motel basement Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. The Yodeler Motel was one of about 250 buildings that flooded in Carbon County when torrential rains swelled waterways across the Yellowstone region. (AP Photo/Brittany Peterson)

Credit: Brittany Peterson

Credit: Brittany Peterson

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Receding floodwaters flow past sections of North Entrance Road washed away from recent floodwaters at Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. The unprecedented and sudden flooding earlier this week drove all but a dozen of the more than 10,000 visitors out of the nation's oldest park. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Receding floodwaters flow past sections of North Entrance Road washed away from recent floodwaters at Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. The unprecedented and sudden flooding earlier this week drove all but a dozen of the more than 10,000 visitors out of the nation's oldest park. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Combined ShapeCaption
Receding floodwaters flow past sections of North Entrance Road washed away from recent floodwaters at Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. The unprecedented and sudden flooding earlier this week drove all but a dozen of the more than 10,000 visitors out of the nation's oldest park. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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Map shows rainfall in June for northwest Wyoming.

Credit: staff

Map shows rainfall in June for northwest Wyoming.

Credit: staff

Combined ShapeCaption
Map shows rainfall in June for northwest Wyoming.

Credit: staff

Credit: staff

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A collapsed train bridge is shown along the Yellowstone River Wednesday, June 15, 2022, near Livingston, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

A collapsed train bridge is shown along the Yellowstone River Wednesday, June 15, 2022, near Livingston, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

Combined ShapeCaption
A collapsed train bridge is shown along the Yellowstone River Wednesday, June 15, 2022, near Livingston, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

Credit: Rick Bowmer

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Highway workers build up the shoreline of a washed out bridge along the Yellowstone River Wednesday, June 15, 2022, near Gardiner, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

Highway workers build up the shoreline of a washed out bridge along the Yellowstone River Wednesday, June 15, 2022, near Gardiner, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

Combined ShapeCaption
Highway workers build up the shoreline of a washed out bridge along the Yellowstone River Wednesday, June 15, 2022, near Gardiner, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

Credit: Rick Bowmer

Combined ShapeCaption
Receding floodwaters flow past sections of North Entrance Road washed away at Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. Yellowstone officials are hopeful that next week they can reopen the southern half of the park, which includes Old Faithful geyser. Park officials say the northern half of the park, however, is likely to remain closed all summer, a devastating blow to the local economies that rely on tourism. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Receding floodwaters flow past sections of North Entrance Road washed away at Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. Yellowstone officials are hopeful that next week they can reopen the southern half of the park, which includes Old Faithful geyser. Park officials say the northern half of the park, however, is likely to remain closed all summer, a devastating blow to the local economies that rely on tourism. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Combined ShapeCaption
Receding floodwaters flow past sections of North Entrance Road washed away at Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. Yellowstone officials are hopeful that next week they can reopen the southern half of the park, which includes Old Faithful geyser. Park officials say the northern half of the park, however, is likely to remain closed all summer, a devastating blow to the local economies that rely on tourism. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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Crews work to fix sections of residential streets damaged by recent floodwaters in Red Lodge, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Crews work to fix sections of residential streets damaged by recent floodwaters in Red Lodge, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

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Crews work to fix sections of residential streets damaged by recent floodwaters in Red Lodge, Mont., Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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Pedestrians pass a motel in Red Lodge, Mont., while surveying the damage after floodwaters receded, Wednesday, June 15, 2022. On Wednesday, residents in Red Lodge, a gateway town to Yellowstone National Park's northern end, used shovels, wheelbarrows and a pump to clear thick mud and debris from flooded homes along the banks of Rock Creek. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Pedestrians pass a motel in Red Lodge, Mont., while surveying the damage after floodwaters receded, Wednesday, June 15, 2022. On Wednesday, residents in Red Lodge, a gateway town to Yellowstone National Park's northern end, used shovels, wheelbarrows and a pump to clear thick mud and debris from flooded homes along the banks of Rock Creek. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Combined ShapeCaption
Pedestrians pass a motel in Red Lodge, Mont., while surveying the damage after floodwaters receded, Wednesday, June 15, 2022. On Wednesday, residents in Red Lodge, a gateway town to Yellowstone National Park's northern end, used shovels, wheelbarrows and a pump to clear thick mud and debris from flooded homes along the banks of Rock Creek. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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Patrick Sipp, co-owner of Flying Pig Adventures, pets his dog, Bonnie, as employees Jackson Muller, right, and Christie Davis sit in a raft while Yellowstone National Park is closed due to historic flooding in Gardiner, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. "We're definitely a resilient company, we've got a very tough crew," Sipp said. "But it's devastating. You just hate seeing stuff like that in the community. We're just hoping that we can get back out there relatively soon." (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Patrick Sipp, co-owner of Flying Pig Adventures, pets his dog, Bonnie, as employees Jackson Muller, right, and Christie Davis sit in a raft while Yellowstone National Park is closed due to historic flooding in Gardiner, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. "We're definitely a resilient company, we've got a very tough crew," Sipp said. "But it's devastating. You just hate seeing stuff like that in the community. We're just hoping that we can get back out there relatively soon." (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Combined ShapeCaption
Patrick Sipp, co-owner of Flying Pig Adventures, pets his dog, Bonnie, as employees Jackson Muller, right, and Christie Davis sit in a raft while Yellowstone National Park is closed due to historic flooding in Gardiner, Mont., Wednesday, June 15, 2022. "We're definitely a resilient company, we've got a very tough crew," Sipp said. "But it's devastating. You just hate seeing stuff like that in the community. We're just hoping that we can get back out there relatively soon." (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Credit: David Goldman

Credit: David Goldman

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Jack Koch is seen dumping a bucket of mud that was pulled out of a flooded house by a volunteer cleanup crew, Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Jack Koch is seen dumping a bucket of mud that was pulled out of a flooded house by a volunteer cleanup crew, Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

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Jack Koch is seen dumping a bucket of mud that was pulled out of a flooded house by a volunteer cleanup crew, Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Credit: Matthew Brown

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A sunken vehicle rests in front of home where volunteers are cleaning out a flooded basement Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

A sunken vehicle rests in front of home where volunteers are cleaning out a flooded basement Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

Combined ShapeCaption
A sunken vehicle rests in front of home where volunteers are cleaning out a flooded basement Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. Yellowstone National Park officials say more than 10,000 visitors have been ordered out of the nation's oldest national park after unprecedented flooding tore through its northern half, washing out bridges and roads and sweeping an employee bunkhouse miles downstream. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Credit: Rick Bowmer

Credit: Rick Bowmer

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Bob Conover is seen tossing ruined construction materials onto a pile of flood debris in a neighborhood of Red Lodge, Mont., on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Homeowners and business cleaned up from record flooding earlier this week that caused damage to hundreds of homes across southern Montana and forced the indefinite closure of Yellowstone National Park. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Bob Conover is seen tossing ruined construction materials onto a pile of flood debris in a neighborhood of Red Lodge, Mont., on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Homeowners and business cleaned up from record flooding earlier this week that caused damage to hundreds of homes across southern Montana and forced the indefinite closure of Yellowstone National Park. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Combined ShapeCaption
Bob Conover is seen tossing ruined construction materials onto a pile of flood debris in a neighborhood of Red Lodge, Mont., on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Homeowners and business cleaned up from record flooding earlier this week that caused damage to hundreds of homes across southern Montana and forced the indefinite closure of Yellowstone National Park. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Credit: Matthew Brown

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An ad-hoc "bucket brigade" of volunteer cleanup workers walk down a street in Red Lodge, Mont. as they head to a flood-damaged house to remove mud and water from its basement, on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

An ad-hoc "bucket brigade" of volunteer cleanup workers walk down a street in Red Lodge, Mont. as they head to a flood-damaged house to remove mud and water from its basement, on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Combined ShapeCaption
An ad-hoc "bucket brigade" of volunteer cleanup workers walk down a street in Red Lodge, Mont. as they head to a flood-damaged house to remove mud and water from its basement, on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Credit: Matthew Brown

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Thomas Smith looks over belongings from his basement that were left under several feet of water when floodwaters poured through Red Lodge, Mont. on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Earlier in the week, in this June 16, 2022 photo. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Thomas Smith looks over belongings from his basement that were left under several feet of water when floodwaters poured through Red Lodge, Mont. on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Earlier in the week, in this June 16, 2022 photo. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Combined ShapeCaption
Thomas Smith looks over belongings from his basement that were left under several feet of water when floodwaters poured through Red Lodge, Mont. on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Earlier in the week, in this June 16, 2022 photo. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Credit: Matthew Brown

Combined ShapeCaption
A Montana National Guard soldier is seen next to a barrier blocking the main thoroughfare through Red Lodge, Mont., on Thursday, June 16, 2022, after flooding pummeled parts of the city near Yellowstone National Park. State officials say it could take months to repair area roads that link the tourist-dependent community and the park. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

A Montana National Guard soldier is seen next to a barrier blocking the main thoroughfare through Red Lodge, Mont., on Thursday, June 16, 2022, after flooding pummeled parts of the city near Yellowstone National Park. State officials say it could take months to repair area roads that link the tourist-dependent community and the park. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Combined ShapeCaption
A Montana National Guard soldier is seen next to a barrier blocking the main thoroughfare through Red Lodge, Mont., on Thursday, June 16, 2022, after flooding pummeled parts of the city near Yellowstone National Park. State officials say it could take months to repair area roads that link the tourist-dependent community and the park. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Credit: Matthew Brown

Combined ShapeCaption
Chris Prindiville is seen outside his café, Prindy's Place, on Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. Floodwaters that surged down the city's main thoroughfare on Monday did not get into the restaurant, but Prindiville says for now he's unable to open because gas and water service has yet to be restored. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Chris Prindiville is seen outside his café, Prindy's Place, on Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. Floodwaters that surged down the city's main thoroughfare on Monday did not get into the restaurant, but Prindiville says for now he's unable to open because gas and water service has yet to be restored. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Combined ShapeCaption
Chris Prindiville is seen outside his café, Prindy's Place, on Thursday, June 16, 2022, in Red Lodge, Mont. Floodwaters that surged down the city's main thoroughfare on Monday did not get into the restaurant, but Prindiville says for now he's unable to open because gas and water service has yet to be restored. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Credit: Matthew Brown

Credit: Matthew Brown