Highway 140 leading to Yosemite to be shut down ahead of coming storm

UPDATE: Highway 140 from Mariposa leading into Yosemite Valley has now reopened, according to Caltrans District 10.

RELATED: Highway 140 leading into Yosemite reopens, Caltrans reports


Another storm, another highway closure leading to Yosemite National Park.

Caltrans announced they're closing nearly 17 miles of highway 140 for the incoming storms.

A flash flood warning is in effect, and rain could cause mudslides along burn scar areas.

This area may see 2 to 6 inches of rain throughout the weekend.

Business owners say they're aren't too worried just yet since that rainfall will be over a 4-day period, however, they're still preparing for the worst.

Bob Pickard says he's getting ready.

With powerful storms expected to hit the Mariposa this weekend, the owner of High County Health Food and Cafe says he doesn't want another repeat of the floods he experienced last year.

"The culvert between us and the highway overwhelms with water. This fills up within 15 to 20 minutes. It's a lake out here, believe it or not. We'll be prepared tonight, tomorrow to barricade as much possible with what we have," Pickard said.

National Weather Service officials say the storm could bring the possibility of flash floods, strong winds, and mudslides along burn scar areas.

For those reasons, Caltrans is shutting down several miles of Highway 140 heading to Yosemite National Park.

EMBED More News Videos

A big storm is heading towards the Valley. Here's how the Valley is preparing.

"The last thing we want is cars on that road at 5 in the morning, when the storm is wet, and something goes wrong," said CalTrans district 10 spokesperson Rick Estrada.

The highway will close at 4 a.m. Saturday morning.

A flash flood watch is in place until Saturday evening. However, more storms may end up bringing anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of rain to Mariposa until Monday.

Caltrans crews are removing dead trees, and clearing loose debris along the Ferguson Fire Burn scar.

They're also replacing several culverts.

"Another good component is that we'll have forces on both ends of the highway, so as soon as that storm passes and we feel it's safe, our guys and women get in the scoopers and loaders," Estrada said.

Estrada says while the closure may be inconvenient, they don't want to risk anyone getting stuck in the canyon.

Meanwhile, business owners like Pickard are just preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best.

"We're hoping to see a good rainfall. Beneficial to what we need for water, and nothing like a flood," Pickard said.

A winter storm warning is also in place for areas above 5,000 feet in Yosemite National Park.

There will still be access into the national park between El portal and Yosemite.

The park will still be accessible to highway 120 or 41.

However there may be temporary road closures and delays may be possible over the next several days inside the park.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.