Yosemite closed through at least Monday following high wind event


YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE/AP) — Officials say Yosemite National Park will remain closed through at least Monday, as clean up continues from the recent Mono wind event.

When the park does reopen, visitors will be able to enter through Highway 140, Highway 120, and Hetch Hetchy Road. Areas south of Yosemite Valley, including Badger Pass, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, and the South Entrance through Highway 41 will remain closed until further notice.

The park hoped to reopen Tuesday except for areas south of Yosemite Valley, including one entrance, that will remain shut to visitors, the park said Thursday.

High winds that began Monday swept through the state, toppling trees and power lines and knocking out electricity to about 300,000 homes and businesses. Utilities also intentionally blacked out tens of thousands of customers to prevent fires erupting from damaged or downed electrical equipment.

The winds eased Tuesday in the northern and central areas and Wednesday in the south.

Yosemite was struck Monday night. Two giant sequoias in the lower grove of Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias were among trees that fell, park spokesman Scott Gediman told the Sacramento Bee.

Trees also crushed trucks and damaged buildings, including employee homes. Also crushed were a boardwalk and bathroom installed during a $40 million restoration that was finished in 2018, Gediman said.

Crews were working to repair downed electrical lines, especially in the Wawona community, a south park area that remained without power on Thursday, Gediman said.

Among the areas closed until deemed safe was the Tunnel View, a scenic viewpoint on State Route 41 in the Wawona area that offers sweeping views of such icons as Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall.

In support of the regional stay-at-home order affecting the San Joaquin Valley region, once Yosemite reopens it will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for day-use activities, the National Park Service said. Lodging and campgrounds are currently closed.

Some services and facilities are limited, and shuttles are not operating. Consistent with the state’s regional stay home order, day-use limits will be in place until local conditions change. Visit www.nps.gov/yose for updates.

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