Yellowstone National Park: Throngs of tourists gleefully watched the legendary Old Faithful geyser shoot towering bursts of steaming water while others got stuck in “bison jams” on picturesque valley roads as visitors returned Wednesday for the partial reopening of Yellowstone National Park after destructive floods.
Park managers raised the gates at three of Yellowstone’s five entrances for the first time since June 13, when 10,000 visitors were ordered out after rivers across northern Wyoming and southern Montana surged over their banks following a torrent of rainfall that accelerated the spring snowmelt. The cost and scope of the damages are still being assessed, Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly said Wednesday.
Empty roads and parking lots quickly grew busier by mid-morning as about 5,000 vehicles entered the park after getting through long lines that stretched for several miles (kilometers) at one gate in the early morning. The backups were gone by early afternoon, though, and visitation numbers were less than a normal summer day that draws about 10,000 vehicles, park officials said in a news release.