Devastating flood levels in Yellowstone National Park have resulted in washed out roads, bridges, and even cabins, along with mud and rock slides that’ve damaged a number of sections of the park.
Visitors were forced to evacuate for their own safety as every entrance was shut down, and park officials noted that it may take months for some parts of the park to reopen.
With that being said, Yellowstone is now reopening parts of their park on Wednesday, but will only allow a limited number of visitors, according to CNN.
The park said in a statement:
“At 8 AM Wednesday, June 22, Yellowstone National Park will begin allowing visitors to access the south loop of the park. The south loop is accessed from the East (Cody), West (West Yellowstone), and South (Grand Teton/Jackson).
Areas accessible include Madison, Old Faithful, Grant Village, Lake Village, Canyon Village, and Norris.”
However, park officials are using an unusual system to decide which visitors will be allowed to access the park. For example, vehicles with license plates ending with an odd number will be allowed to visit on odd numbered days of the month, and those with even numbers can access on even numbered days.
“Park staff have endangered over 1,000 business owners, park partners, commercial operators and residents in surrounding gateway communities to determine how to manage summer visitation.”
According to the National Weather Service, Yellowstone received two to three times the number of typical rainfall for the month of June, with precipitation being over 400% the average in northwestern Wyoming and southern Montana.
Flooding was so severe, that the Yellowstone River peaked at its highest level in over 100 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.