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Yosemite to remain closed till Tuesday at least because of wind damage

A boardwalk in Yosemite National Park damaged by a fallen ponderosa pine during this week's high winds
A boardwalk in Yosemite National Park is damaged by a fallen ponderosa pine during high winds earlier this week.
(Yosemite National Park)

Yosemite National Park will remain closed through the weekend after high winds that battered much of California knocked down two giant sequoias and caused millions of dollars in damage.

The park hopes to reopen Tuesday except for areas south of Yosemite Valley, including one entrance, that will remain shut to visitors, the park said Thursday.

High winds that began Monday swept through the state, toppling trees and power lines and knocking out electricity to about 300,000 homes and businesses. Utilities also intentionally blacked out tens of thousands of customers to prevent fires erupting from damaged or downed electrical equipment.

The winds eased Tuesday in the northern and central areas and Wednesday in the south.

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Yosemite was struck Monday night. Two giant sequoias in the lower grove of Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias were among trees that fell, park spokesman Scott Gediman told the Sacramento Bee.

Trees also crushed trucks and damaged buildings, including employee homes. Also crushed were a boardwalk and bathroom installed during a $40-million restoration that was finished in 2018, Gediman said.

You’ll need a reservation to visit Yosemite, even if you’re just going for the day.

Crews were working to repair downed electrical lines, especially in the Wawona community, a southern park area that remained without power Thursday, Gediman said.

Among the areas closed until deemed safe is the Tunnel View, a scenic viewpoint on State Route 41 in the Wawona area, which offers sweeping views of Half Dome and Bridalveil Fall.

The park is open only to day visitors. Campgrounds and lodges have been closed for several weeks because the park is trying to reduce the chances of visitors spreading the coronavirus.


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