Skip to content

Floods May Leave Yellowstone Landscape ‘Dramatically Changed’ Forever

The roaring Yellowstone River is seen from the air sweeping over trees and near homes Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Billings, Mont.

The roaring Yellowstone River is seen from the air sweeping over trees and near homes Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Billings, Mont.

Photographer: AP Photo/Brittany Peterson

Updated on

Billings, Mont. (AP) -- Devastating floodwaters that wiped out miles of roads and hundreds of bridges in Yellowstone National Park and swamped scores of homes in surrounding communities moved downstream Wednesday and threatened to cut off fresh drinking water to residents of Montana’s largest city.

Heavy weekend rains and melting mountain snow had the Yellowstone River flowing at a historically high level of 16 feet (4.9 meters) as it raced past Billings. The city gets its water from the river and was forced to shut down its treatment plant at about 9:30 a.m. because it can't operate effectively with water levels that high.