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UPDATE: Crews clean up after mudslide wipes out Paradise Valley road

By Jordan Moore, KTVM Reporter, jmoore@ktvm.com
Published On: Jul 17 2013 05:07:50 PM MDT
Updated On: Jul 18 2013 12:59:16 AM MDT
GARDINER, Mont. -

A flash flood sent a river of mud across Highway 89 Wednesday. It happened just north of Gardiner.

We spoke with Park County emergency officials who tell us there was anywhere between 4 and 10 feet of mud across Highway 89 between mile markers seven and eight.

NBC Montana was at the scene for more than an hour as crews were trying to clean up the road. We also witnessed traffic coming to a complete stop between folks wanting to head north out of Gardiner and Yellowstone National Park.

As soon as we arrived on scene we met Sam Hatcher and Caitlin Dorsett. They are both raft guides who were coming from a day trip with 60 people.

"You could see rocks getting spit up. It was an incredible amount of force. We saw it from pretty far away. There was this massive rooster tail of water coming in. It would spit up right over the road," said Hatcher.

Within five minutes of being on scene we were told to leave because the storm was moving in.

We spoke with Lieutenant Tom Totland of the Park County Sheriff's Office. He told us they were doing everything in their power to open the road.

"We don't know if we have a base or what we have at the bottom here. There is more equipment coming. We are looking to get this cleaned up as quickly as we can," said Totland.