On June 12, heavy rainfall poured down on Yellowstone National Park causing significant flooding, rockslides and mudslides within the park. This left severe damage to roads, water systems, power lines and other park structures.
While the effects of flooding have been devastating to the park, unaffected areas will remain open during the summer, though with significant changes.
Recovery efforts have already kicked off with $50 million dollars of funding from the Federal Highway Administration.
“We have made tremendous progress in a very short amount of time but have a long way to go,” said Cam Sholly, Yellowstone Park Superintendent, in a news release.
The South Loop of the park reopened to the public at 8 a.m. on June 22. The South loop includes the East, West and South Entrances. The accessible sites will include Madison, Old Faithful, Grant Village, Lake Village, Canyon Village and Norris.
With a section of the park being closed to the public for flood repairs, park officials implemented precautions to endure that the South loop will not be overwhelmed. When the South loop opens, the Alternating License Plate System will be applied to all visitors.
The Alternating License Plate System will base entry to the park on the number and letters on vehicles’ license plates.
Odd-numbered last digits, personalized plates with odd-numbered last digit and personalized plates without any number will be allowed entry on odd days of the month. Even-numbered last digits, personalized plates with even-numbered last digits and motorcycle groups will be allowed entry on even days of the month.
Essential services, commercial motor coaches and visitors with proof of overnight reservations in the park are allowed entry on any day of the month.
Vehicles trying to enter the park with license plates that do not correspond to the correct odd and even number system will be denied entry. For more information about the Alternating License Plate System visit the National Park Service website.
“We realize there is much challenging work ahead, and we will do everything we can to support the park, partners, concessioners, and gateway communities on the road to recovery,” said Chuck Sams, National Park Service Director, in a press release.