GARDINER, Mont. (WAWV/WTWO) — Heavy floods and rockslides at Yellowstone National Park have affected vacation plans for one Terre Haute family.
Parker Manning and his family had plans set for their family trip to visit Yellowstone for about 60 days. They rented a cabin in Gardiner, Montana, and were excited to visit some of the most notable national parks. But catastrophic flooding destroyed bridges and roads and drove out thousands of tourists, including the Mannings.
“The water had eroded the roads and washed the bridges out,” Parker said. “It was a disaster.”
Manning said it wasn’t long after arriving Saturday, June 11th that rain came their way.
“There was no doubt there was a tremendous amount of water,” Manning said. “We started to see some debris floating down through there Sunday night.”
The Manning family got up early Monday and anticipated another day at Yellowstone until they got a notification from the park.
“About 7:30 a.m., we actually got a message that the gate to the park was closed and there was severe flooding,” Manning said. “Later that afternoon we saw one of these homes that was on the edge of the river. It was pretty evident that the dirt on the bank was really sloughing off.”
A quarter of the house had balanced over the edge of the water until the house was washed into the river 10 minutes later.
Manning said this brought negative flashbacks for him and his family.
“We’ve been lifelong Terre Haute residents and went through a flood in 2008 and it was a horrible experience,” Manning said. “We knew the destruction that water could have on properties.”
Tuesday Manning got a call from county officials that there was a short opportunity for visitors to drive out of town.
“They said if you want to leave, you have to leave now,” Manning said.
Within 20 minutes the Manning family packed up and left.
Parker said while the trip didn’t go as planned they still tried to make the best out of an unfortunate situation.
“We’ve got a great family and everybody got along well even though we were in a very small cabin a little longer than we anticipated,” Manning said.