Governor and Wyoming Work Hard to Mitigate Impacts of Yellowstone Flood
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Mark Gordon will issue an emergency declaration in response to historic flooding in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas. This follows days of work by state agencies to respond to this historic event.
While analysis of the impacts of the flooding in the surrounding area is ongoing, the emergency declaration will allow the state to seek federal funding assistance for necessary road repairs. Governor Gordon has been communicating with Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte and state agency heads to ensure a coordinated response to a changing situation.
“This has been extraordinarily hard on a lot of people and we are doing all we can to assist,” Governor 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 is providing assistance to its neighbors in Montana and the National Park Service, as needed. The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is temporarily maintaining a section of US Highway 212 between Cooke City, Montana and the intersection of Wyoming Highway 296 in Northwest Wyoming due to heavy 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. State highway crews have also worked to clear bridges and evaluate risks to highway infrastructure. Some WYDOT employees worked late into the night on Monday.
“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,” said WYDOT Director Luke Reiner.
At this time impacts have been minimal to Wyoming bridges and roads in the Greater Yellowstone area, however WYDOT continues to monitor the situation closely and clear debris from the public right-of-way, as needed.
The Wyoming Department of Tourism and Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources has provided resources to impacted visitors, including 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,” the Governor added. “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 working with its counterparts in Montana and in the National Park Service to assess damage, prepare for offering other assistance and ensure public safety.