Incredibly devastating flood waters have washed-out hundreds of bridges in Yellowstone Park. Thousands were evacuated from the park. Roads have eroded away under the force of the rushing water. When all factors align, the power of nature is an unstoppable and unforgiving force. Now those raging waters are surging in the Yellowstone River and flowing directly to North Dakota.

Thankfully flooding in North Dakota should be minimal.

Kim Fundingsland has always been a top-notch North Dakota outdoors reporter. He currently has a great write-up you'll find published on The Dakotan website.  The author notes the power of the rampaging river will be substantially quelled by the time it reaches the confluence in the Williston area.

“We do have a flood warning for the Missouri River near Williston with the expectation of minor flooding, and maybe moderate flooding. Maybe,” said Allen Schlag, National Weather Service hydrologist.

Although the Yellowstone River continues to impact downstream Montana communities, the extended Flood Warning from the National Weather Service was set to expire Thursday afternoon for Billings and the surrounding area. The crest is at 16.6 feet compared to a previous crest of 15 feet in 1997.

Some in North Dakota welcome the incoming water.

As the Yellowstone River flows east it becomes deeper and wider.  It's able to contain the increased water levels as it makes its way to Williston and the Missouri River. There is a flood warning in place for the area with mild to moderate flooding a possibility. But all that water is heading towards Lake Sakakawea which has plenty of room for more. Once again from Kim's report in The Dakotan:

“We have plenty of storage for water. Our Forecast Center is thinking 4-5 feet above previous forecasts, which gets us back to where we wanted to be.” said Todd Lindquist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Riverdale.

That's bound to be beneficial to recreation water users in North Dakota. Montana on the other hand has to face a future where the northern half of Yellowstone Park is likely to remain closed for the rest of the season. The incredible beauty of nature draws thousands and thousands of onlookers every year. This year it is the power of nature that will keep them away.

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