GARDINER, Mont. (WKRN) — As extreme flooding continues near Yellowstone National Park, residents of Gardiner, Montana, are looking for relief, and some tourists are in the same situation.
Two of those tourists are Cindy and Mark Fogarty from right here in Nashville.
“We were staying at Ridgeline Hotel, right above where the house they lost, and it went into the river,” Fogarty said.
That house was one of many that washed away from the fast-moving flood waters, forcing rescues by air and boat.
The flooding forced the indefinite closure of Yellowstone National Park just as a summer tourist season that draws millions of visitors annually was ramping up.
“We’ve been driving 2,100 miles and we got to one mile of Yellowstone,” Fogarty said.
The couple told ABC News they drove out to Yellowstone for vacation, but as soon as they arrived, the catastrophic flooding hit.
“Oh god, it was just really fast and just almost rapids,” Fogarty said.
These incredible scenes were the result of near-record high temperatures over the weekend that melted upper elevation snow.
The ground was frozen under that snow, so the runoff had nowhere to go but down the river.
“It’s sad some of those people lost their homes, and it’s just sad what all took place, but I think it’s a small town and they will come together and help each other,” Fogarty said.
Thankfully, the Nashville natives were able to escape those rushing waters.
“We were up high enough so we were okay,” Fogarty said.
Officials say all five park entrances for Yellowstone are closed until at least mid-week.