Following a disastrous wind storm in Yosemite National Park that toppled trees, destroyed cars and heavy equipment, and damaged infrastructure, officials announced it will extend its closure until at least January 30. With the incoming storm approaching Northern California, officials are worried of more weather related damage in the park.
“Park staff continue to clear roads and trails, mitigate hazard trees, and work toward restoring safe conditions for employees and visitors due to last week’s Mono wind event,” park officials wrote in a statement. “A significant winter storm is forecast to begin Tuesday night. Hazardous conditions, including substantial snow accumulation, falling trees, and dangerous road conditions, are anticipated through the week.”
When the park reopens, it will be open 24 hours per day. Upper Pines Campground will open on February 8. Yosemite Valley Lodge and The Ahwahnee will open on February 5. Visitors will be able to enter the park using El Portal Road (Highway 140), Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 from the west), and Hetch Hetchy Road. Areas south of Yosemite Valley (including Badger Pass, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, South Entrance, and Wawona Road) will remain closed until further notice.
The price of the damage has yet to be fully assessed, but photos show serious damage throughout the park. Boardwalks, houses and other infrastructures were found to be destroyed by falling trees. Many of the damage was done in the Mariposa Grove area of the park.