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Flooding in Yellowstone area wipes out bridges, houses, and roads

Yellowstone National Park is closed through at least Wednesday after dangerous flooding conditions swept through the area, leaving a number of of tourists and residents stranded.

The park announced Monday afternoon that all entrances were closed to visitors thanks to "record flooding events" and a less-than-ideal forecast. Rivers in the area have swelled to unprecedented levels, per the National Weather Service, and officials are still working through park evacuations.

The dangerous conditions are a result of days of heavy rain "and a rapidly melting snowpack" in area mountain ranges, notes The Associated Press. Bridges, houses, and roads have been wiped out across parts of southern Montana and northern Wyoming. The storms have also triggered mud and rockslides. Some communities lack access to safe drinking water.

There have been no injuries or deaths yet reported, though Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) on Tuesday declared a "statewide disaster" to "help impacted communities get back on their feet as soon as possible." 

After the pandemic, businesses in the area were hoping for a profitable summer, NPR writes.

"I think at this point we're just trying to take it hour by hour," said Rebecca Demery, who co-owns the only grocery store in the nearby town of Gardiner. "[T]here's nothing really that any of us can do to change it. But it's going to be a very different year than expected I think."