Historic floods in Montana severely damaged or destroyed 115 homes, U.S.

yellowstone national park flood damage june 2022

A total of 115 homes were severely damaged or destroyed in Montana’s Park, Carbon, and Stillwater counties by historic floods that hit the region on June 12 and 13, 2022.

The devastating floods were produced by melting snow in combination with heavy rainfall.

Snowpack across most of the Montana river basins began melting much later and faster than normal this year. While most basin snowpack typically peaks sometime in mid to late April, in 2022 snowpack peaked in late April and in some cases in mid-May.1

Moderate to major flooding continues to occur in multiple basins statewide and the incident period remains ongoing, Montana Governor told FEMA in a Request for Individual Assistance on June 23.

Flood forecasting efforts were hampered by this extreme event when several USGS stream gage stations were damaged or destroyed. Some of these sites have yet to be repaired since the entire bridges on which they were mounted were washed downstream.

The results of damage surveys indicate that 53 primary residences were majorly damaged or destroyed in Park County, 39 in Stillwater, and 23 in Carbon.

Due to the significant amount of debris caused by these storms, cleanup and recovery efforts remain ongoing.

Multiple sections of roads throughout the Yellowstone National Park have been either washed out or covered in mud or rocks, and multiple bridges were affected.2

As a result, park officials have made the decision to close Yellowstone to all inbound visitation.

On June 22, some parts of the park were reopened and visitors can now access the south loop of Yellowstone via an Alternating License Plate System. The park’s north loop remains closed due to flood damage until further notice.

References:

1 Gov. Gianforte Requests Individual Assistance for Montanans from FEMA – State of Montana – June 23, 2022

2 Unprecedented flooding hits Yellowstone National Park, U.S. – The Watchers – June 14, 2022

Featured image credit: Yellowstone National Park

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