The unprecedented flooding that has destroyed parts of Yellowstone National Park is also endangering freshwater supplies in Montana’s most populous city.
About 110,000 residents of Billings, Montana, were asked to conserve water Wednesday after severe flooding in the shutdown area of the city’s main water plant, reports Q2 News, a news agency. Local Billings.
“None of us planned the 500-year flood event on Yellowstone when we designed these facilities,” reported Debi Meling, the city’s director of public works, CBS News.
City officials sent out a press release Wednesday morning, warning that the city’s water plant was closed Tuesday night due to historic flooding.
The water level at the plant has risen to 16ft; the plant only operates at a water level of 15ft or less.
Billings officials also warn that the city can only use fresh water for 24 to 36 hours.
As of Wednesday night, the plant was operating at limited capacity, with residents asked to maintain their limited water use and advised to avoid lawn irrigation or other water-intensive activities.
The plant’s capacity was back to full use on Thursday, and city officials thanked Billings residents for their cooperation.
“We have never witnessed a situation like the one we saw yesterday,” Billings officials said in a press release on Thursday.
Fresh water supplies in other parts of Montana were also affected by severe flooding this week, the New York Times reported.
In Gardiner, a town of about 900 people in the southern region of Montana, locals were warned Monday not to drink the city’s water.
“Do not drink Gardiner’s drink”, read the Gardiner warning update, in capital letters.
A more recent update on Thursday at 7 a.m. MT placed the town’s water supply under the boil directive, saying the water was only safe to consume after it had been boiled.
Record rainfall across Montana caused flooding and mudslides that prompted Yellowstone National Park, in a rare move, to temporarily close and evacuate more than 10,000 visitors on Tuesday.
The park, which spans parts of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, remained closed on Thursday as park officials surveyed the damage the park suffered from flooding and rock slides.
Officials said the worst-affected area of the park, the northern section, could close for the rest of the summer, although other parts of the park could reopen as early as possible. in Monday.
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