Yosemite National Park announced this morning, that due to the anticipated impacts of the approaching storm, Yosemite Valley will be closed to park visitors beginning Friday, April 6 at 5 p.m. and all reservations for campgrounds and lodging have been canceled through Saturday evening, April 7.
The park is requesting all tourists in the valley leave today by 5 p.m.
Services and campgrounds will remain open in Wawona, Hodgen Meadow, Crane Flat, and El Portal but they may close at any time to guarantee the safety of visitors and employees.
On Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Hanford estimated Yosemite Valley could receive 3 to 4 inches of rain and the Merced River had the potential to reach above the moderate flood stage at the height of 15.8 feet.
According to meteorologist Carlos Molina, if the flood stage reaches 10 feet, campgrounds could flood and at 12.5 feet water will reach roadways.
YARTS buses will be on their regular schedule on Friday, but service to Yosemite Valley will be suspended Saturday and Sunday.
In the Sierra foothills, a flood watch is in effect from Fresno County to Mariposa County, and in the southern Sierra from Yosemite to Sequoia & Kings Canyon national parks.