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Yellowstone Closed due to flooding


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Just 2 weeks ago a  guy was asking about Yellowstone weather in June, he had reservations. Hope he isn't already there. That road looks like the drive from the West Yellowstone entrance, there's no CG's on that road though.

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4 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

That road looks like the drive from the West Yellowstone entrance, there's no CG's on that road though.

If I read the Park's statements correctly it is the road along the Gardner River between the North Entrance and Mammouth. They also said that the road and bridges between Tower Junction and Cooke City are damaged in several places and that the road is closed. Cooke City is accessible via the Chief Joseph Highway. A statement from the Sheriff's Department said that there was mitigation work being done on US-191 in Gallatin Canyon. I did not see any mention of road closures on the road to West Yellowstone.

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Mail

 

Say what you want about the Mail but they do shine when it comes to events like this. Lots of photos and videos of the event. Gardiner is heavily damaged and cut off, the Carabella bridge built in 1918 is washed away. I assume the BLM campground right near there is kaput. The flood waters were at 15 ft compared to the old record of 11.5 set in 1918, the year the Carabella bridge was built.

Red Lodge is flooded.

So it sounds like the north part of the park is going to be closed for a extended period. Bridges and roads heavily damaged. From what I've seen the NPS is very slow to repair damage compared to state governments who will have contractors working by the end of the week. The NPS will be lucky to get started before the snow flies.

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7 hours ago, agesilaus said:

From what I've seen the NPS is very slow to repair damage compared to state governments who will have contractors working by the end of the week.

Most of that is due to funding. Congress hasn't given the park service a large enough budget to pay for the needed repairs just to keep up. It will be interesting to see what they do now.

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Quote: " The National Park Service will make every effort to repair these roads as soon as possible; however, it is probable that road sections in northern Yellowstone will not reopen this season due to the time required for repairs."

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Enough time has elapsed, now videos of the immense damage are being published on the internet. I doubt the region will ever fully recover, the terrain has been changed, lives forever altered.

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5 hours ago, bruce t said:

Mother Nature has been changing the landscape for millions of years. Humans just want it to stay the same forever!

True, but she usually works a lot slower changing it, giving humans more time to react. It's these rapid changes that are the most disrupting.

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1 hour ago, Dutch_12078 said:

True, but she usually works a lot slower changing it, giving humans more time to react. It's these rapid changes that are the most disrupting.

Not exactly true, there was a massive earth quake not far from there killed a number of campers and altered the landscape, created a new lake.. The Yellowstone area is especially unstable, Floods, earthquake, hurricane and so on all modify the landscape. There was a major geological belief system fight over Gradualism vs Catastrophism. The Catastrophe bunch won. Back around 1900 or so.

There was a major landslide just east of the Tetons too and one at Zion that damned the valley. The earth is in motion but on a human timescale many of us fail to notice it. This was a 1000 year flood tho, so more damaging than any most of us would ever see.

Edited by agesilaus
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Mother nature changes gradually and rapidly. Us humans just try to contain and slow down the changes. Not always successfully. Living along the lower Mississippi it has been a battle to contain the river inside the manmade levees. Mother nature will win at some point.

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3 hours ago, agesilaus said:

Not exactly true, there was a massive earth quake not far from there killed a number of campers and altered the landscape, created a new lake.. The Yellowstone area is especially unstable, Floods, earthquake, hurricane and so on all modify the landscape. There was a major geological belief system fight over Gradualism vs Catastrophism. The Catastrophe bunch won. Back around 1900 or so.

There was a major landslide just east of the Tetons too and one at Zion that damned the valley. The earth is in motion but on a human timescale many of us fail to notice it. This was a 1000 year flood tho, so more damaging than any most of us would ever see.

As I said "Usually...". The earth has been undergoing changes for eons, most so suitable we don't notice them within our lifetimes. Yes, a few of those changes are more dramatic and occur quickly, but in the overall scheme of life on earth, they are minor except to those more closely involved.

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14 hours ago, bruce t said:

Mother Nature has been changing the landscape for millions of years. Humans just want it to stay the same forever!

True on the landscape but Humans are changing their fashions all the time.

 

9 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

True, but she usually works a lot slower changing it, giving humans more time to react. It's these rapid changes that are the most disrupting.

1975, the Big Thompson River flooded at Estes Park,Co  creating a similar event taking lives. 2018, the South Llano River flooded at Junction, TX taking lives. Both heavy rain down pours. Many other down pours have a occurred over the years with out the media highlighting

We always grieve, the sudden lost of life.

Clay

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What we once called natural erosion is now called what?

Should we humans be allowed to build big expensive houses on the Outer Banks?

Should we be allowed to build in forests?

Humans have been trying to tame Mother Nature for centuries but my money is on Mother Nature every time.

Humans aren't as smart as we think we are.

Now consider why Yellowstone is what it is and why it's there. So is change any quicker now than it was a 1000 years ago? A million years ago? Or just before man started recording events?

Accept change just like wrinkles in the mirror change is inevitable.

 

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A side note to this Yellowstone topic is housing. Years ago certain areas were designated "flood plains", No-one would finance building a house there, even if local government allowed construction.

About 20 years ago the "flood plain" restriction was dropped for some reason, and since, very expensive houses were/are constructed in these areas, with the requirement the owner purchase federal flood insurance.

I've never found any logic in that decision.

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OK they still do flood plain maps in areas where it matters. And those are based on 100 year flood predictions (statistical). Call your local planning dept. This was a 1000 year flood which no one can plan for.

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Cody will be inundated.

Cody does not have that many campground  or 4 that I know of plus that state park on the road to the north entrance. I do recall signs for one or two campgrounds on the YNP road nearer the North entrance

Make your reservations now

It's a long long drive from Cody to the geyser basins, several hours each way plus slowdowns for the massive traffic flow. Wow Google maps says 137 miles and 4 and a half hours, can that be right? Via US 14 passing by Fishing Bridge

If that's true you better have reservations at the Yellowstone Lodge or other in park hotels. Is Fishing Bridge open?

Edited by agesilaus
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16 minutes ago, agesilaus said:

Cody will be inundated.

Cody does not have that many campground  or 4 that I know of plus that state park on the road to the north entrance. I do recall signs for one or two campgrounds on the YNP road nearer the North entrance

Make your reservations now

It's a long long drive from Cody to the geyser basins, several hours each way plus slowdowns for the massive traffic flow. Wow Google maps says 137 miles and 4 and a half hours, can that be right? Via US 14 passing by Fishing Bridge

If that's true you better have reservations at the Yellowstone Lodge or other in park hotels. Is Fishing Bridge open?

Last time I did that drive was towing a small Casita.  That seems about right.  Ended up camped on the Madison River at a BLM boat launch.  It gets slow once you get into the park.

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15 hours ago, agesilaus said:

OK they still do flood plain maps in areas where it matters. And those are based on 100 year flood predictions (statistical). Call your local planning dept. This was a 1000 year flood which no one can plan for.

Not true. As a Civil Engineer, I work on projects that utilize 100 year, 500 year, 1000 year, and even 10,000 year statistical recurrence intervals. It all depends on how serious the ramifications of failure are. For instance, foundations for major bridges are designed for at least a "500 year" flood, and some for even higher intervals. 

It all comes down to risk and cost. It isn't feasible from a cost standpoint to design everything for 100 year return intervals, let alone 1000 year. 

With all of that being said, the statistical models regarding flooding are not holding up well at all with regard to return period of floods in modern times. With climate change and other factors what were determined to be 500 year or 1000 year floods based on past statistical data may well become the new 100 year flood as more data becomes available and is incorporated into the models. 

Edited by mptjelgin
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So what interval do they use for housing flood maps? I was an environmental and had a few CE classes that covered this, but is was way back in the Dark Ages

As for Climate change there has been none, meaning average temp rise, in almost a decade. There was a few years before that with some temp jump, but before that something like 20 or 25 years of flat temps. Climate change is a way for 'so called climate scientists' to rake in Federal grants.

Edited by agesilaus
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