Yosemite Campgrounds to Shut Down Due to Flood Danger from Melting Snowpack.
Yosemite National Park is set to temporarily close three popular campgrounds due to flooding fears caused by warming temperatures melting the Sierra Nevada’s enormous snowpack. The Lower and North Pines Campgrounds, as well as the Housekeeping Camp, will be closed to avoid waterways overflowing their banks. The National Weather Service has released a flood watch for the area, with the Merced River likely to remain above flood stage for some time. The park will update the status of the closures on Monday evening.
Last month, the eastern sections of the Yosemite Valley were temporarily closed following flooding fears that ultimately proved unfounded. However, the situation this time around appears significantly more serious, with the melting snowpack potentially creating a genuine flood hazard. The situation is a result of a whole series of epic winter storms in the area.
As the spring weather finally appears, huge amounts of snow are melting so fast due to the warmer temperatures, creating a significant amount of meltwater. This has created issues for farmers in the San Joaquin Valley because melting snow has already caused some fields to be flooded. However, this is reported to be just the tip of the iceberg.
Despite above-average temperatures in late April, the snowpack has melted at a slower pace overall due to below-average temperatures early in the month and extensive cloud cover. Despite the melting water, it has been possible to manage the flow rate up to this point. Nevertheless, emergency teams remain on alert for any signs of flooding with the warmer weather forecast to continue over the coming days.
This announcement serves to heighten growing concerns about the impact of climate change on national parks and the potential disruption it could cause to tourism and the wider community. Despite this situation, park authorities are urging visitors not to be deterred from visiting Yosemite National Park on account of the temporary closures. They are promising that the park will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so, with park officials monitoring the situation closely.