Flooding near Coalinga
Weather forecasts for the Sierra Nevada Mountains look much more favorable for the coming days after a wet and dangerous Wednesday.
Areas in and around Yosemite National Park received around an inch of rain throughout the day and into the night, leading to mudslides and the closure of Highway 140 from Bear Creek Bridge to Foresta Road. The road remained closed until shortly before midnight.
Wednesday’s rainfall landed in the burned areas of the Ferguson Fire, causing mudslides along the highway. Thursday morning, Caltrans crews were still monitoring Highway 140 for falling debris and advised motorists to drive slow and cautiously.
Jim Bagnall, meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said that Yosemite can expect light showers on Thursday, but the rest of the areas affected by the storm can expect the remainder of the week to be dry.
Students of El Portal Elementary School and Yosemite Valley Elementary School were dismissed early on Wednesday and their campuses were closed. Mariposa County High School Students that live along the Highway 140 corridor were dismissed early, as well, although the high school’s campus remained open.
Both schools reopened Thursday.
Threats of a flash flood also reached Oakhurst, where rain poured down on the fresh burn scar of the Oak Fire. The warning closed down Road 620 from Road 628 to Old Yosemite Road Wednesday afternoon, but the threat quickly waned and the road was reopened at around 9 p.m.
The National Weather Service reported that rainfall in the Oakhurst area did not exceed a quarter of an inch.
Coalinga, Huron and the Tulare County Mountains were also flooded.