Delays, cancellations in Yosemite after snowstorms cause major damage

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KFSN) -- Recent snowstorms have caused extensive damage in Yosemite National Park.

Below the snow-covered mountains and tall trees now sits debris and destruction.

"I've seen a lot of snow, and a lot of snow in the past year. I've never seen this damage," says ranger Scott Gediman. "We had three or four major big storms that dumped a lot of snow within a short period of time."

Gediman says the recent snowstorms and powerful winds destroyed some campground areas on the Valley floor.

The damage to some of the campgrounds is astonishing.

Trees are uprooted, and some bathrooms and tents are demolished.

Strong steel bear boxes are dented.

Upper and Lower pines are two of the campgrounds with damage.

More clean-up is underway, but for visitors, it could mean some delays and cancellations.

Mark Gruber and his daughter Miranda made a reservation to camp during their trip, but it was canceled because of the destruction.

"You can see the collapsed beds. It's like a movie scene," Gruber says.

Gediman says this isn't a historic snowfall, but it is one of the most destructive.

Crews are already working to clear dangerous trees in some of these campgrounds, and both the park service and park concessioner will be working to contract more folks to help clean up.

For visitors, repairs would mean some roads will open later than usual, and cancellations to reservations made for the damaged campgrounds.

"Everyone who's coming in through April 11 - their reservation has been canceled. After that, we'll assess it the next few days and we'll basically do rolling cancellations as we continue to assess the damage," Gediman says.

He adds that they'll continue to assess the damage.

Park Rangers say there's still a lot of snow and possibly more damage underneath it.

This could also mean that Tioga and Glacier Point roads will be open later than usual this year.

Crews are working to assess and clean the damage, but say visitor and employee safety is the number one priority.
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