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Heavy snow wallops Yosemite National Park, causing damage and closures

Heavy snow wallops Yosemite National Park, causing damage and closures
Storms have dumped heavy rain and snow at Yosemite National Park, closing all roads, toppling trees and triggering a rockslide. Officials at the popular Northern California park urged visitors to stay indoors Tuesday. (National Park Service / AP)

Heavy snowfall this week at Yosemite National Park has toppled trees, knocked out power and damaged campgrounds, and some roads and facilities including the ski area remained closed Friday, officials said.

No one was injured during the storm, which from Monday through Wednesday dumped 18 to 24 inches of snow on Yosemite Valley and several feet in the high country.

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The park is open, but all visitor services at Half Dome Village remained closed Friday, as the damage was assessed and repairs begun.

About 50 guest cabins at Half Dome Village were damaged or destroyed, as well as 50 to 70 housing units for concession employees, National Park Service officials said. Alternative housing was being arranged for about 150 workers.

Upper Pines Campground, which was deemed unsafe after trees fell on its restrooms, also remained closed Friday, as did Yosemite Ski and Snowboard area, officials said.

No damage estimates have been compiled and it is not known when all of the facilities will be reopened.

“Visitor and employee safety remains the highest priority for the National Park Service and the park concessioner,” the statement from the park service said. Officials advised visitors to check the park and concessioner websites for updates on openings and operating hours.

Road closures and delays could continue over the next several days along Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 West), Wawona Road (Highway 41) and El Portal Road (Highway 140) inside within the park, officials said.

Updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park are available at (209) 372-0200 and on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/yose.

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