At Least Two Hundred Homes Suffer Flood Damage In Southern Montana

The forces of fire and ice shaped Yellowstone National Park over thousands of years. It took decades longer for humans to tame it enough for tourists to visit, often from the comfort of their cars.

In just days, heavy rain and rapid snowmelt caused a dramatic flood that may forever alter the human footprint on the park’s terrain and the communities that have grown around it.

The historic floodwaters that raged through Yellowstone this week, tearing out bridges and pouring into nearby homes, pushed a popular fishing river off course -- possibly permanently -- and may force roadways nearly torn away by torrents of water to be rebuilt in new places.

‘The landscape literally and figuratively has changed dramatically in the last 36 hours,’ said Bill Berg, a commissioner in nearby Park County. ‘A little bit ironic that this spectacular landscape was created by violent geologic and hydrologic events, and it’s just not very handy when it happens while we’re all here settled on it.’

The unprecedented flooding drove more than 10,000 visitors out of the nation’s oldest national park and damaged hundreds of homes in nearby communities, though remarkably no was reported hurt or killed.

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