Governor Gordon to Declare State of Emergency in NW Wyoming
Written by Andrew-Rossi on June 16, 2022
Governor Mark Gordon says he is coordinating with Montana and federal agencies to coordinate the response to the crisis in and around Yellowstone National Park.
Governor Mark Gordon will issue an emergency declaration in response to historic flooding in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas. This decision follows days of work by state agencies to respond to this historic event.
While analysis of the impacts of the flooding in the surrounding area is ongoing, the emergency declaration will allow the state to seek federal funding assistance for necessary road repairs. Governor Gordon is communicating with Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, and state agency heads to ensure a coordinated response to a changing situation.
“This has been extraordinarily hard on a lot of people, and we are doing all we can to assist,” Governor Gordon said. “Thankfully, visitors have been evacuated, and we can go about helping local communities, businesses, and others address the historic impacts of this flood.”
Wyoming is assisting Montana and the National Park Service as needed, which currently includes maintaining the Montana side of the Beartooth Highway.
Due to heavy spring snowfall, the Wyoming Department of Transportation (W.Y.D.O.T.) is temporarily maintaining a section of U.S. Highway 212 between Cooke City, Montana, and the intersection of Wyoming Highway 296 in Northwest Wyoming. This maintenance will ensure residents, first responders, and evacuees have access to supplies, lodging, healthcare, and other essential services during the current state of emergency.
State highway crews have also worked to clear bridges and evaluate risks to highway infrastructure. Some W.Y.D.O.T. employees worked late into the night on Monday.
“W.Y.D.O.T.’s top priority is safety, and we want to make sure there is a clear and safe route in and out of the affected area,” said W.Y.D.O.T. Director Luke Reiner.
Impacts have been minimal to Wyoming bridges and roads in the Greater Yellowstone area. However, W.Y.D.O.T. is monitoring the situation closely and clearing debris from the public right-of-way.
The Wyoming Department of Tourism and Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources has provided resources to impacted visitors, including expanding the state park’s capacity and also highlighting other recreational opportunities for visitors affected by the park’s closure.
“We want to assure the public that we are doing all we can with our partners to open the southern and eastern entrances to the park as quickly as possible,” the Governor added. “Meanwhile, there are plentiful opportunities for visitors to enjoy all the wonders of Wyoming, which remains open for business.”