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Yellowstone Flooding Rebuild Could Take Years, Cost Billions

The entrance to Yellowstone National Park, a major tourist attraction, sits closed due to the historic floodwaters on June 15, 2022, in Gardiner, Mont. Created in 1872 as the United States was recovering from the Civil War, Yellowstone was the first of the national parks that have been referred to as America's best idea. Now, the home to soaring geysers and some of the country's most plentiful and diverse wildlife is facing its biggest challenge in decades. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
The entrance to Yellowstone National Park, a major tourist attraction, sits closed due to the historic floodwaters on June 15, 2022, in Gardiner, Mont. Created in 1872 as the United States was recovering from the Civil War, Yellowstone was the first of the national parks that have been referred to as America's best idea. Now, the home to soaring geysers and some of the country's most plentiful and diverse wildlife is facing its biggest challenge in decades. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
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(AP) -- Created in 1872 as the United States was recovering from the Civil War, Yellowstone was the first of the national parks that came to be referred to as America’s best idea. Now, the home to gushing geysers, thundering waterfalls and some of the country’s most plentiful and diverse wildlife is facing its biggest challenge in decades.

Floodwaters this week wiped out numerous bridges, washed out miles of roads and closed the park as it approached peak tourist season during its 150th anniversary celebration. Nearby communities were swamped and hundreds of homes flooded as the Yellowstone River and its tributaries raged.