CNN
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As the turbulent waters begin to recede – after forcing Yellowstone National Park to close temporarily and prompting the evacuations of dozens of local residents – park officials and southern Montana communities are assessing the catastrophic damage while also bracing for the possibility of more flooding in the coming days.

Though cooler temperatures and drier weather have allowed rivers to start falling back to normal levels, hotter temperatures are expected later this week and into the weekend, which could cause additional flooding in the area due to snow-melt runoff, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

“Plan on highs in the 60 to 70s in the higher elevations [Friday and Saturday], which should melt much of the remaining snowpack and lead to additional river rises,” the NWS in Billings said on Tuesday.

Dangerous flooding began to overrun the park and several counties in southern Montana on Monday and into Tuesday, washing out or eroding roads and bridges and inflicting widespread damage to homes and businesses.

Quickly deteriorating road conditions in Yellowstone created harrowing evacuation conditions for some visitors, including the parents of CNN Supervising Producer Tim Carter, who had to exit over a bridge that had been compromised.

“When we were going over it, it was really scary because the water was already violently swirling around the bridge,” Martha Carter said. “We did find out later that it had washed out.”

Over 10,000 people have safely left the park since officials announced they would close all entrances to incoming visitors Monday. After the announcement, officials prioritized the evacuation of the northern region due to “multiple road and bridge failures, mudslides and other issues,” Yellowstone Park Superintendent Cam Sholly said.

Meanwhile, some surrounding communities were left without power or safe drinking water as flood conditions made it impossible or unsafe to travel and compromised water supplies.

Gov. Greg Gianforte declared a statewide disaster Tuesday and announced he would seek an expedited presidential disaster declaration to help cover the cost of recovery.

Since rescue efforts began Monday, the Montana National Guard has evacuated at least a dozen people who were stranded in Roscoe, Fromberg and Cook City, the force said in a news release Tuesday.

The dangerous flooding is just one of several extreme weather events bearing down on communities across the US, including a blistering heat wave affecting more than 100 million people, and severe storms that have knocked out power for hundreds of thousands in the Midwest and Ohio River Valley.

Rapidly rising water levels inundated south Montana homes, businesses and infrastructure Monday, forcing many families to evacuate. But for some, roads and bridges were rendered impassable by the flood, leaving them trapped, at times without clean drinking water or power.

The Montana National Guard deployed four helicopters to assist with evacuations in affected areas on Monday and Tuesday and also sent soldiers to the city of Red Lodge to establish a command center and aid in search and rescue efforts, the force said Tuesday.

A Montana helicopter company flew about 40 people out of Gardiner, the city that acts as a gateway to the northern park entrance and was isolated by flooding, Laura Jones with Rocky Mountain Rotors told CNN.

The road from Livingston into Gardiner was reopened Tuesday to local traffic, goods and services, but “significant damage” remains, Park County Sheriff Brad Bichler said in a news conference.

The highway between Gardiner and Mammoth was washed out by rapidly moving floodwaters.

Substantial rainfall and snow runoff over the weekend in the Beartooth and Absaroka mountain ranges, which span across the Montana-Wyoming border, created a “total water event of at least 4 to 9 inches,” the National Weather Service in Billings said Tuesday.

That amount of runoff is similar to the region receiving 2 to 3 months of June precipitation in only three days, according to CNN Weather calculations. The conditions caused the Yellowstone River, which runs through the park and several of the communities to overrun.

The Yellowstone River gauge at Corwin Springs reached a historic 13.88 feet Monday afternoon, NOAA data shows, but had receded to 9.34 feet by Tuesday night.

Absarokee resident Tracy Planichek and her husband had just reached their long-awaited goal of having a brand new home when the flood threat forced them to evacuate. Now, she told CNN, she is desperately hoping it has avoided the destruction seen in other homes, some of which were swept away by the battering waters.

“[We’ve] never been able to afford a new house,” she said. “It’s sitting at the top of the lane and we’re hoping that by some God miracle that our house will be there.”

In the park, officials made the decision to have all visitors move out of lodging and campgrounds and leave the park in order to prevent anyone from being stranded, the National Park Service said in a news release. The park averages between 15,000 and 20,000 visitors in June, Sholly said.

A road near Yellowstone National Park's northern entrance was significantly damaged by flooding.

The park has also closed the Yellowstone back country and has been in contact with groups in the area.

“We have contacted or know the whereabouts of every back country user currently in Yellowstone,” Sholly said, noting that there is one group remaining in the northern range. No helicopter evacuations have been necessary, he said.

No known injuries or deaths occurred in the park because of the flooding, Sholly said, and officials do not believe the animals in the park have been significantly affected.

The northern portion of the park is likely to remain closed for a “substantial length of time due to severely damaged, impacted infrastructure,” the National Park Service said in a news release.

In the northern areas of the park, which bore the brunt of the flooding, roads have suffered “major damage,” with many sections of road completely wiped away, the NPS said.

“The National Park Service will make every effort to repair these roads as soon as possible,” the NPS said. “However, it is probable that road sections in northern Yellowstone will not reopen this season due to the time required for repairs.”

A washed out bridge at Yellowstone National Park's Rescue Creek.

Park officials will conduct a full evaluation of the damages once flood waters subside, but are preparing for another “high-water event” in the upcoming days, Sholly said.

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