Unprecedented Flooding Forces Yellowstone National Park To Close All Entrances And Leave Locals Trapped

Unprecedented Flooding Forces Yellowstone National Park To Close All Entrances And Leave Locals Trapped

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1 min agoMontana governor declares “statewide disaster” due to “rarely seen” floodingFrom CNN’s Claudia Dominguez and Danielle Sills

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte declared a “statewide disaster” on Tuesday due to heavy flooding, according to a post on his Twitter account. 

“I have declared a statewide disaster due to flooding to help impacted communities get back on their feet as soon as possible,” the tweet said. 

Montana is experiencing unprecedented levels of flooding according to the National Weather Service. Snow melt and rainfall across the Beartooths and Absarokas, that span the Montana-Wyoming border according to the US Forest Service, have led to “flooding rarely or never seen before across many area rivers and streams,” the NWS Billings on their website. 

Gianforte also said in a separate tweet that the Montana National Guard had “successfully evacuated 12 individuals stranded due to flooding in Roscoe and Cooke City.” 

The Montana National Guard said that after rescuing those 12 stranded individuals they were responding to a search and rescue request in the East Rosebud Lake area according to a tweet. 

Montana’s Disaster and Emergency Services warned in a tweet on Tuesday that “several roads and bridges are severely damaged in Southern Montana and may be temporarily closed.” 

 See governor’s tweet:

29 min agoWind and solar are “bailing out” Texas amid record energy demand in early heat waveFrom CNN’s Ella Nilsen

Wind turbines rotate in a field in Eldorado, Texas. (Sergio Flores/AFP/Getty Images)As an unusually early heat wave blankets Texas, many people are turning on their air conditioners — setting new records for electricity demand in the state. On Sunday, electricity demand surpassed 75 gigawatts, smashing a 2019 record. And Texas grid operator ERCOT projects Tuesday could near the same peak. 

But compared to past Texas grid failures during extreme weather, what’s notable this time is how well the grid is working during the power surge. Several experts told CNN that it’s owed in large part to strong performances from wind and solar, which generated 27 gigawatts of electricity during Sunday’s peak demand — close to 40% of the total needed.

“Texas is by rhetoric anti-renewables, but frankly renewables are bailing us out,” said Michael Webber, an energy expert and professor at the University of Texas Austin. “They’re rocking. That really spares us a lot of heartache and a lot of money.”Despite Texas Republican state politicians’ rhetoric hitting wind and solar as being unreliable, Texas has a massive and growing fleet of renewables. Zero-carbon electricity sources (wind, solar, and nuclear) powered about 38% of the state’s power in 2021, rivaling natural gas at 42%.

In Texas, this is a relatively recent phenomenon.

“Wind and solar would not have been available in years in the past, so the growing capacity helps to alleviate reliance on natural gas and coal,” said Jonathan DeVilbiss, operations research analyst at the US Energy Information Administration.

Not only have renewables helped keep the power on during a scorching and early heatwave, they have also helped keep costs low. Prices for natural gas and coal have remained higher during the worldwide energy crunch; unlike fossil fuels, renewables have zero fuel costs.

“Because the price of wind and sunlight hasn’t doubled in the past year like other resources, they are acting as a hedge against high fuel prices,” said Josh Marks, an energy researcher at UT Austin.

Keep reading here.

1 hr 4 min agoWatch the power-sapping storm that moved through ChicagoSevere storms on Monday knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the Midwest and the Ohio River Valley – including those in and around Chicago. And the satellite imagery above gives a pretty stunning view of the storm that hit the Windy City.

It was tweeted by the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, a partnership between the Colorado State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

More than 525,000 homes and businesses still were without power late Tuesday morning in six states — Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. More than 299,000 were in Ohio alone, according to PowerOutage.us.

Illinois still had more than 36,000 outages late Tuesday morning, most of which were in Cook County, which contains Chicago.

1 hr 24 min agoHere’s why you might have to start getting used to heatwavesFrom CNN’s Judson Jones

A family spends time together in the shade outside of their house in Houston, Texas, in this June 10, 2022. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)Heatwaves are something we are going to have to get used to.

“Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of heat waves around the world, tilting the scale in the direction of warmer temperatures,” CNN meteorologist and climate expert Brandon Miller explained.

“In the United States, record high temperatures are now well more than twice as likely to occur compared to record low temperatures,” according to the US National Climate Assessment.

“And while much of the country is baking in peak summerlike heat before the summer solstice has even come, major heat waves are simultaneously occurring in Europe and Asia as well,” Miller observed.In Europe, heat is being pumped north around an area of high pressure, similar to what we have going in the US. It is bringing unrelenting heat to Spain and France through the rest of the week.

In France, it is likely to peak Thursday and Friday. Spain, where it will last until at least Thursday, is also dealing with an astonishing drought. The aridness, coupled with the heat, is putting most of the country into “extreme” fire danger.

It is very similar to what is happening in New Mexico, where the fire threat is critical once again, today and tomorrow.

And then there is northwestern China, where temperatures will reach well into the triple digits Fahrenheit.

1 hr 18 min agoYellowstone flooding and extreme heatwave both amplified by climate crisisFrom CNN’s Angela Fritz

High water levels in the Lamar River erode the Northeast Entrance Road to Yellowstone National Park. (Yellowstone National Park)The flooding in and around Yellowstone National Park is indicative of the extremes of the climate crisis, Marshall Shepherd, the director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia, told CNN.

“We have warned about increasing rates of (rainfall) intensity,” Shepherd said. “Our infrastructure is unfortunately designed for last century rain intensities.”

As for the heat, Shepherd said extreme temperatures never get the same urgency in headlines

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Unprecedented flooding forces Yellowstone National Park to close all entrances and leave locals trapped

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