GARDINER, Mont. (WXIN) — As more than 10,000 people were forced out of Yellowstone National Park due to historic flooding, an Indiana man was there to witness an incredible sight. He was recording as an entire house toppled into the churning waters of the Yellowstone River.
Parker Manning, from Terre Haute, Indiana, was staying in a cabin in Gardiner, Montana when he recorded the incident on Monday night, he told The Associated Press. The house was largely intact as it hit the water and floated downstream.
“We started seeing entire trees floating down the river, debris,” Manning told The Associated Press. “Saw one crazy single kayaker coming down through, which was kind of insane.”
Manning was one of a handful of people still stranded near Yellowstone Wednesday.
The Yellowstone River hit historic levels after days of rain and rapid snowmelt wrought havoc across parts of southern Montana and northern Wyoming, where it washed away cabins, swamped small towns and knocked out power. It hit Yellowstone National Park just as a summer tourist season that draws millions of visitors was ramping up.
Instead of marveling at massive elk and bison, burbling thermal pools and the reliable blasts of Old Faithful’s geyser, tourists found themselves witnessing nature at its most unpredictable as the Yellowstone River river crested in a chocolate brown torrent that washed away everything in its path.
“It is just the scariest river ever,” Kate Gomez of Santa Fe, New Mexico, said Tuesday. “Anything that falls into that river is gone.”
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The park, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, could remain closed as long as a week, and northern entrances may not reopen this summer, Superintendent Cam Sholly said.
“The water is still raging,” said Sholly, who noted that some weather forecasts include the possibility of additional flooding this weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.