After an intense tropical storm caused flooding in roads and rivers throughout Yosemite Valley on Saturday, the national park is expected to reopen to vehicles and visitors at noon on Sunday.
Park crews were working to clear water, rocks and debris from roads early Sunday morning, and officials warned of delays along several routes. Park services, restaurants and lodging have mostly reopened.
The storm Saturday brought less water than expected, dumping 2.5 inches of rain instead of the forecasted 4 inch. But it was enough to swell the Merced River to as high as 13.73 feet, 4 feet over what’s considered a flood. Roads and campsites on Saturday were under as much as 4 feet of water, but the water had mostly receded by early Sunday morning, according to park officials.
The storm that hit the area on Friday and Saturday was part of a larger weather system that established rainfall records in Sacramento, Oroville and San Francisco and brought more than 6 inches of rain to parts of the Bay Area. The storm was an example of an “atmospheric river,” a long plume of water vapor loaded with warm tropical moisture.
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