Another impending storm has forced the preemptive closure of Highway 140 this weekend, Caltrans announced.
The closure, which will go into effect 4 a.m. Saturday, will shut down a 17-mile stretch of highway from Bear Creek near Midpines to Foresta Road in El Portal, about four miles from the west entrance of Yosemite National Park.
The portion of the road sits near the Ferguson Fire burn scar and is prone to mudslides and falling debris.
There is no scheduled time for the reopening of the highway, as that is dependent on the impact of the weather.
“After the storm has passed, Caltrans crews will clear any debris and inspect the road before reopening it to traffic,” a Caltrans Facebook post stated.
Mariposa, along with Madera County, Fresno County Foothills, Sierra Nevada from Yosemite to Kings Canyon, Tulare County Foothills, and Tulare County Mountains; are forecast to receive between 2 to 4 inches of rain from Friday night to Saturday night.
A flash flood warning is in effect for all of those areas from 10 p.m. Friday to Saturday evening.
In an interview on Monday, National Weather Service meteorologist David Spector advised against traveling through the mountain area.
Above 5,000 feet in the southern Sierra Mountains, a winter storm warning is in effect.
According to the National Weather Service, snow accumulations of up to 6 feet and wind gusts as high as 65 mph are expected in those areas.
This is the fourth time in four months a winter storm has forced the closure of Highway 140, with the most recent taking place only two weeks ago.