California

Part of Yosemite Valley to Close Due to Flooding Concerns

Campground and lodging reservations in eastern Yosemite Valley have automatically been canceled and refunded.

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California’s record snowpack and the rising temperatures are setting the stage for new problems.

The threat of flooding has forced a rare closure for much of the majestic Yosemite Valley Friday through at least next Wednesday, with campground and lodging reservations already canceled for most planned visitors.

It may be shut down longer, depending on how fast melting mountain snow flows into the Merced River.

“We’re expecting much above normal temperatures between Thursday and Sunday each day, in fact we may approach records on Saturday,” said NWS meteorologist David Spector.

The agency said the eastern part of the valley will see the most impact. Portions of the Lower and North Pines campground are expected to flood.

“The Merced River is going to overflow its banks so there’s going to be roads there covered with water. Paths will be covered with water and that’s why nobody’s going to be allowed in Yosemite Valley,” said Spector.

For now, models show the Merced River flooding will still be about 2 feet lower than when it flooded in 2018, that also closed parts of the park.

Yosemite officials hope to reopen the park next Wednesday but added that additional flooding and closures may occur later in May or June and create problems well into the summer.

There's growing concern about what happens when California's record snowpack is hit with a significant warming trend. Jodi Hernandez reports.
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