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Feb 22nd
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Home National & State Parks Yosemite Yosemite Digs Out After Series of Heavy Storms

Yosemite Digs Out After Series of Heavy Storms

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After a series of heavy storms that nearly closed the park, Yosemite is slowly digging out and National Park Service rangers expected to be fully operational again by Monday, March 28, 2011.

"This is the longest closure we've seen since the El Nino floods of January 1997," said Ranger Scott Gediman, park spokesperson. "The park really never closed, since the people in the valley were never asked to leave. But it was rough."
yosestormcleanupThe first in a series of winter storms moved through into the area on Wednesday (March 23, 2011) with snow fall returning to El Portal. Approximately two inches of snow was reported at El Portal with 14 inches at the 6,500 feet elevation.

Overnight Thursday, March 24, the park received six inches of snow in Yosemite Valley, with as much as four feet of snow accumulating on the valley floor.

Limited food and retail services were available to the public, and full services were espected to return on Friday. Badger Pass Ski Area will remain closed throughout the weekend. Additionally, all campgrounds in Yosemite Valley will remain closed until noon on Monday, March 28.

Many park businesses were forced to operate on gasoline generators, and incremental reopenings were set to occur through the weekend, Gediman said.

All roads into Yosemite National Park reopened on Thursday, March 24, including park entrances via Highways 120, 140, and 41.

Pacific Gas and Electric was continuing work to restore electrical service. Progress has been limited due to snow showers throughout the area Thursday and remaining in the forecast through Saturday. Restoration of power was projected for Saturday for Yosemite Valley, undetermined for Wawona, and up to one week for the Hodgdon area. Hetch Hetchy has restored electrical services.

Tree clearing continues along secondary roads and within residential communities.

Non-essential employees remained on administrative leave as heat and power was lacking at many work locations. Personnel are supporting core operations, including basic administrative/contracting needs associated with the winter storm, payroll/finance, and operations.

Employees were being encouraged to telecommute, but many were without power at their homes as this storm has had widespread impacts. The park is anticipating a full restoration of services and all employees returning to work on Monday.

Bus service to Yosemite via the Highway 140 corridor on the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) began an abbreviated schedule Friday.

Buses into Yosemite Valley will include Runs 2, 3, and 5. Buses leaving Yosemite Valley will include Runs 9, 11, and 12. YARTS will begin the regular weekend schedule beginning Saturday, March 26.

National & State Parks