Yosemite Flood 2018 4.7.18 10am

April 07, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

We are still under a Flood Warning and currently experiencing heavy rain in Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Valley residents, please take the time to carefully read the safety reminders below. 

Safety Reminders 
The river is rising quickly and will continue to rise even after the rain has stopped, as water works its way from the high country to the lower elevations. If you are in the park, you may be tempted to go for a walk to see the high water, but please stay home (unless scheduled to work). 

Southside Drive is now two-way from Pohono Bridge to Sentinel Bridge. Do not drive unless it’s absolutely necessary. Do not drive through standing or running water over the road. Turn around, don’t drown: two feet of flowing water is enough to sweep your vehicle away (this did apparently occur in Mariposa County during the last storm). 

Be extremely cautious while walking anywhere near flowing water. Just six inches of running water is enough to sweep you away. 

Large trees have already started to fall in the Valley. Watch for falling trees, looking for cracks in the soil around a tree, a tree beginning to lean, or separation between joined tree trunks. 

If there is a power outage, do not use portable stoves or grills indoors. 

River and Weather Conditions 
As of 8 am, the Merced River at Pohono Bridge is at 10 feet (and 7 feet at Happy Isles). The current river forecast calls for a peak of 14.7 feet at Pohono Bridge at 5 pm on Saturday, with flows above 10 feet (flood stage) until Sunday at 5 am. 

Yosemite Valley has received about 2.25 inches of rain since Friday morning. 

Tuolumne Meadows has received just over 1.5 inches of rain since Friday morning. 

South Fork Merced River, which was at about 4.5 feet earlier this week, is now approaching 8 feet. 

Tuolumne River above Hetch Hetchy, which about 10 to 11 feet earlier this week, is now approaching 17 feet. 

Tuolumne River at Tuolumne Meadows, which a little over 3 feet earlier this week, is now approaching six feet. 

Weather forecast for Yosemite Valley calls for another inch of rain this morning, with decreasing chances of rain this afternoon and tonight. 

Yosemite Valley Closure 
Yosemite Valley is closed to visitors. Residents may not enter or leave Yosemite Valley. 

Information for Valley Residents 
For safety reasons, residents who are not working should remain at their homes through Saturday afternoon, when rainfall rates and river level are highest. Avoid driving unless absolutely necessary. (Southside Drive is currently two-way traffic from Pohono Bridge to Sentinel Bridge; Northside Drive is flooded in multiple locations.) 

Please use as little water as possible (avoid doing laundry, taking showers, etc.) to reduce strain on the sewer system. 

Prepare for the possibility of an evacuation if utility systems fail. The earliest this is likely to occur is on Sunday, although we are hopeful this will not be necessary. 

Half Dome Village Pavilion open 8 am–10 am and 6 pm–8 pm today. 

Village Store open 10 am–6 pm today. 

Employees Scheduled to Work on Sunday 
If you are scheduled to work in Yosemite Valley on Sunday, be prepared to work, but you will probably be on administrative leave (if not attached to the incident). Check the employee hotline on Sunday morning and remain in touch with your supervisor. 
 


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