Yosemite National Park remains closed amid winter storm; more snow expected this weekend

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Yosemite Nat'l Park still closed; more snow expected this weekend
Yosemite National Park remains closed and inaccessible amid treacherous storm conditions. And, even more snow in on the way.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- Yosemite National Park remains closed and inaccessible after more snow fell there over the weekend. Conditions remain treacherous as locals worry about the next wave of bad weather.

There's nowhere to put the snow anymore. Local residents dubbed March 6 as "Dig Out Day." A little sunshine and a blazing blue sky are just what those stuck inside Yosemite National Park needed.

MORE: Storm timeline: Atmospheric river set to slam CA Friday, causing flood threats

The park has been closed since Feb. 25. In Wawona, just south of Yosemite Valley, the snow is overwhelming - as much as 15 feet deep in places.

Michael Henderson owns the Pine Tree Market, the only store in town for those isolated in homes and rental cabins on unplowed streets.

"When it comes down fast and furious - it's one thing, but this has been persistent over a long period of time. It's been a lot of snow everyday for a lot of days. People are walking around, everyone has spikes in their shoes. Someone even skied up to the market the other day," Henderson said.

Schools are closed. Roads are closed. and Supplies are running short for some food items and even heat.

VIDEO: Snowfall reaches 15 feet in some areas of Yosemite National Park

"A lot of the side roads, we haven't been able to keep up with the plowing to make them accessible to propane, and then even if they get to your house they have to wade through chest-deep snow, shovel out the tank to hookup and refill," Henderson said.

There are webcam views online of iconic places in the park with now raging waterfalls. This time of year tourists usually flock to Yosemite for a glimpse of the "fire fall" at El Capitan. But, no visitors are allowed until park officials can clear roads and rooftops. Also, there is more trouble brewing weather-wise.

"I'm hearing up to six inches of rain between Thursday, Friday and Saturday kind of thing. And then all this snow, especially at this elevation of 4,000 feet, it's going to be a warmer rain, and all this snow is going to end up in the river real quick," Henderson said.

In fire ravaged areas of Yosemite National Park, runoff and flooding from local creeks and the Merced River is a looming possibility.

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