Yosemite Flood 2017 update 1/9/17
The Merced River peaked at 12.68 feet overnight and was at 11.8 feet at 9 am. The South Fork Merced River peaked just under 10 feet. The latest river forecast is calling for river stage to get below 10 feet (flood stage) around 1 pm, however, this forecast doesn’t account for the effects of the El Capitan Moraine, which slows outflow from Yosemite Valley.
Residents of Yosemite Valley, please delay your return to the Valley. We are planning an update around noon today and are still hopeful that you can return today via the Wawona and Big Oak Flat Roads. We understand you’re frustrated and apologize for the change in plans.
-El Portal Road (Hwy 140) will be closed today (possibly longer) due to a significant rockfall near Dog Rock (see attached photo). Caltrans reports no issues along Highway 140 (outside the park). YARTS is operating on a limited schedule, but is not providing service to Yosemite Valley today. Check their Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/rideyarts/posts/1024317877711928.
-Big Oak Flat Road has had some rockfall, which should be cleaned up soon. Chains may be required later today (and the rest of the week), based on the weather forecast.
-Wawona Road (Hwy 41) has no significant issues. Chains may be required later today (and the rest of the week), based on the weather forecast.
-The sewer system is near capacity right now due to floodwater infiltration. This should resolve as flood waters recede. We are waiting for this to occur before allowing additional people into Yosemite Valley, since more people in the Valley will cause the sewer system to exceed its capacity. The only lift station out of service is at Housekeeping Camp. The only issue with this is that this lift station supplies backup power to other lift stations on the south side of the river. As of now, commercial power is still on in Yosemite Valley.
-There are no known issues with flooding at residences, however, we are continuing assessments. Flooding did occur at the concession security office and garage area due to overflow from Indian Creek.