Before-and-after satellite images taken by Maxar Technologies show the difference in topography before this week’s record-breaking flood and after.
The Yellowstone River appears an icy blue in photographs taken in March, just months before the river swelled to more than 2 feet beyond its previous record height. In photos from this week, the river is a muddy brown, and upon close inspection, it’s clear where the river’s turns have changed slightly and where river banks have eroded due to the recent flooding. Other satellite images show washed out roads near the park.
Many miles of roads need rebuilding, and the Associated Press reported that possibly hundreds of washed out bridges, many made for hikers, need to be repaired or rebuilt. Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly said that the damage will be assessed next week. Earlier in the week, Sholly said that the landscape had “changed dramatically” within 36 hours.
Associate professor at Southern Utah University, Kelly Goonan, who is an expert in national parks and recreation management, said that recovery is going to be a long process.
“This is something we’re definitely going to feel the impacts of for the next several years,” Goonan said.
While park officials hope to open parts of Yellowstone next week, parts of the northern section of the park, where flooding was the worst, may be closed for the remainder of the season.
Click through the slideshow above to see how the park and surrounding areas looked before and after the historic flood.
MORE FROM WEATHER.COM: Photos of Yellowstone’s Devastating Floods
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