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Permanent fixes from Yellowstone floods could take 3-5 years

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Crews work to repair a culvert near Sliding Meadow. PHOTO BY JACOB W. FRANK / NPS

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS — It could take three to five years to replace roads damaged by flooding last month in Yellowstone National Park, but temporary fixes are expected to be in place within months, park Superintendent Cam Sholly said July 8.

Sholly spoke after surveying damaged areas of the nation’s first national park with U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

The flooding prompted the evacuation of more than 10,000 people from the park and prompted its temporary closure. Parts of Yellowstone and two of its five entrances remain closed.

Haaland also met with Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte to tour flood damage in Gardiner, Mont.

The town is a gateway to Yellowstone and dependent on its tourism, but was cut off when the road into the park washed out in flooding that began June 12.

A temporary road from Gardiner to the park headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs has been built for essential travel and some guided tours. It potentially could be opened to visitors before winter, park officials said.

A similar temporary fix is planned for washed out roadway at the park’s northeast gate near Cooke City, Mont.

Federal officials have offered $50 million in emergency funding for the work.

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