Winter Storms Damages Cabins, Strands Staff And Force Closures In Yosemite
Yosemite, CA – Yosemite National Park is trying to dig out from this week’s heavy snow fall that brought power outages and downed trees, impacting multiple park facilities and over a hundred employees.
While acknowledging that there were no injuries as a result of the winter storms that dumped between 18 and 24 inches of snow on the Yosemite Valley and several feet in the high country, park officials relayed the destruction it caused. All visitor services at Half Dome Village are closed after nearly 50 guest cabins and nearly 70 concessioner housing units were damaged or destroyed. In turn, that left around 150 concession employees without housing. Citing that it is unsafe for visitors after a tree came crashing down on the restrooms; the park has closed the Upper Pines Campground. The Yosemite Ski and Snowboard area is also closed. Park officials hope to have both reopened in the next couple of days.
Currently, the National Park Service and the park concessioner are continuing to survey the damage and repairs have already begun. Alternative staff accommodations are also being provided. Over the next several days visitors may find some temporary road closures and delays along Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 West), Wawona Road (Highway 41), and El Portal Road (Highway 140) inside the park, which remains open. Travelers are urged to be prepared for winter driving conditions, especially since another storm system predicted to bring more wet weather into the area this weekend.