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Yosemite National Park will be closed for days due to flooding from melting snow

In this photo provided by the National Park Service, a structure at Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park, Calif., is covered in snow Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023.
AP
In this photo provided by the National Park Service, a structure at Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park, Calif., is covered in snow Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023.

Yosemite National Park will be closed from Friday until at least May 3 because melting snow is expected to cause flooding in the area, the park saidTuesday.

The National Weather Service predicts temperatures will increase by 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend, prompting melting snow to raise the water levels in the Merced River.

This past winter, the Sierra Nevada region — which includes Yosemite Valley, Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney — experienced snow levels at more than 300% than usual.

The closure will begin Friday at 10 p.m. More flooding is possible throughout May and June, the park said.

Visitors who booked reservations for lodging and campgrounds during the cancellation will receive a refund, and wilderness permits can be rescheduled, the park said.

During the closure, Wawona, Crane Flat area and Hetch Hetchy will be open. Mariposa Grove will be open, but only via hike. Western Yosemite Valley will be open, but no services will be available, and parking will be limited and visitors cannot park off-road, the park said.

"In Yosemite Valley, the closure will be at El Capitan crossover (the road that crosses the Merced River just east of El Capitan)," the park said.

No visitors will be allowed east of that road.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ayana Archie
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