Weather

Yosemite may close under threat of heavy rains, flooding

A webcam image from Yosemite Valley shows the effects of a winter storm that’s moving through Central California on Wednesday, January 4, 2017.
A webcam image from Yosemite Valley shows the effects of a winter storm that’s moving through Central California on Wednesday, January 4, 2017. National Park Service

Yosemite National Park is making emergency preparations for a possible closure of the national park amid weather forecasts for significant rain and flooding through the weekend.

Predictions for heavy rains could push the Merced River well above flood stage and prompt the park closure, according to a release from the National Park Service on Wednesday, January 4. Park officials will monitor forecasts and decide within the next day or two whether the park can safely accommodate visitors and employees.

Park officials advise that anyone planning travel to the park should make alternate plans if the park closes.

A big flood in January 1997 caused extensive damage to roads, campgrounds, lodging and utilities in the park. The park remained closed until March 1997. Since that flood, the park worked to improve roads and facilities, according to the release.

For road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, call 209-372-0200 and press 1 or check the park’s website at www.nps.gov/yose

Season's greetings, early October style, from the North Dome trail at Yosemite National Park. The Sierra received a dusting of snow Monday, Oct. 4, 2016, with an accumulation of about an inch, while Tuesday is expected to be mostly sunny with a hi

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