A second video shows Carbella bridge being completely destroyed.
Yellowstone National Park has been closed for the first time in 34 years — and from these witness videos, it is not hard to see why.
Footage captured by a visitor in Gardiner at the park’s northern entrance shows an entire house being swept away by the surging Yellowstone River, amid severe flooding that has triggered evacuations, cut off electricity and rendered drinking water unsafe at the famed tourist mecca.
Heavy rainfall combined with melting snowpack sent torrents of floodwater cutting through the park and beyond, taking roadways, bridges and infrastructure with it; while there have been no reports on injuries yet, dozens of stranded campers had to be rescued by raft.
“We started seeing entire trees floating down the river, debris,” visitor Parker Manning told AP. “Saw one crazy single kayaker coming down through, which was kind of insane.”
Equally insane was Manning’s video showing the massive two story home — reportedly occupied by park employees, though empty at the time — teetering precariously on the bank as it crumbles beneath it.
With a final creak, the entire house tips into the raging river and is carried away:
“That is insane,” Manning can be heard exclaiming. “Holy sh*t!”
A second incredible video captured by another witness showed the metal Carbella bridge just north of the park being washed away as if it were made of paper:
(Not my video) The bridge across the Yellowstone River just north of Yellowstone National Park at Carbella, near Tom Miner Basin. An hour or so ago. Kudos to whoever captured this. The rivers are crazy in SW MT right now! pic.twitter.com/DlbqYkI391
The National Park Service said that waters at Yellowstone had reached record levels, warning of rockslides and “extremely hazardous conditions”.
It shared helicopter footage showing entire sections of road that had vanished:
“Effective immediately, all entrances to Yellowstone National Park are temporarily CLOSED due to substantial flooding, rockslides and mudslides on roadways from recent unprecedented amounts of rainfall and flooding,” Park management said in a statement.
“With additional rainfall forecasted, the park does not want large numbers of day-use visitors stranded in the park.”
The National Weather Service said that the Yellowstone River at Corwin Springs crested at 13.88 feet Monday — drowning the previous record of 11.5 feet set in 1918.
“This is flooding that we’ve just never seen in our lifetimes before,” meteorologist Cory Mottice told CBS News.