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Main road to Yosemite closed indefinitely
AP on Yahoo ^ | 6/2/06 | AP

Posted on 06/02/2006 12:05:54 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

EL PORTAL, Calif. - The main road to Yosemite National Park was closed after a rock slide buried it under 300 feet of debris and threatened to knock out electricity to the park, officials said.

No one was injured in the slide about 12 miles west of the park on Highway 140, but rocks continued to fall Thursday, preventing crews from removing an estimated 250-300 tons of debris, fire officials said. It was not clear when the road would reopen.

"It looks like the mountain moved right over the road," said Carrie Smith of the California Highway Patrol, who reviewed pictures of the slide. "It looks like there should be a tunnel there, but there's not."

The slide began as a trickle of rocks April 29 and forced sporadic road closures last month. The road reopened last week, but on Monday the intensity of the slide increased.

The slide, which is 600 feet long, 600 feet wide and 300 feet deep, threatened to topple two power line towers carrying 72,000 volts of electricity to the town of El Portal and the park, said Mariposa County Fire Chief Blaine Shultz.

The power lines are the only source of power to the small community and the park, Shultz said.

Motorists were advised to use alternate routes into the park. Two routes from the south and the north were still open.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; closed; hwy140; indefinitely; mainroad; yosemite

An autumn sunsets drapes El Capitan and the Yosemite valley with warm light in Yosemite National Park in this Oct. 21, 1997 file photo. Visitors can still find good deals in the national parks this summer, despite tight budgets and rising fees. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)


1 posted on 06/02/2006 12:05:57 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge
This was May 26th..

Boulders smash through a mesh retaining wall on May 26. Since then, debris has covered Highway 140, closing it indefinitely. Merced Sun-Star photo by Marci Stenberg

2 posted on 06/02/2006 12:07:26 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - "The Road to Peace in the Middle East runs thru Damascus.")
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To: NormsRevenge

Crikey!


3 posted on 06/02/2006 12:07:27 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: NormsRevenge

That's a monster slide. Some people from my office are working on it.


4 posted on 06/02/2006 12:08:00 PM PDT by BigBobber
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To: NormsRevenge

Bush's fault?
Global warming?


5 posted on 06/02/2006 12:09:15 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: NormsRevenge

With Yosemite falls in the background, park ranger Vickie Mates, left, and Yosemite Post Master Bill Carroll admire a new stamp unveiled Saturday, May 27, 2006, at the Yosemite Valley Post Office at Yosemite National Park, Calif. The news stamp, part of the 'Wonders of America: Land of Superlatives', is a 40-stamp set showing colorful drawings of such landmarks as Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, the Rocky Mountains, the country's longest mountain chain, and Death Valley, one of the hottest places on earth. (AP Photo/Al Golub)

6 posted on 06/02/2006 12:09:15 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - "The Road to Peace in the Middle East runs thru Damascus.")
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To: NormsRevenge
Scared me. At first glance I though something may have happened to this guy:


7 posted on 06/02/2006 12:10:11 PM PDT by capt. norm (Ben Franklin: "Does thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that's the stuff life is made of")
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To: NormsRevenge

Looks like we're gonna need a bigger mesh.


8 posted on 06/02/2006 12:10:45 PM PDT by RobRoy
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To: BigBobber

With that great a volume of material covering the road, is there certainty that no vehicles have been trapped in there?


9 posted on 06/02/2006 12:10:48 PM PDT by HKMk23 (We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well, and live.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Not the first time this has happened.

January 1997

10 posted on 06/02/2006 12:11:21 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: AnAmericanMother

there was one in 98 and 2000 as well


11 posted on 06/02/2006 12:12:57 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: BigBobber

I was trying to find some postable pics,

KTVU.com has some to look at but we can't post stuff from ibsys.com


12 posted on 06/02/2006 12:13:29 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - "The Road to Peace in the Middle East runs thru Damascus.")
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To: NormsRevenge

Boulder makes Yosemite roadless...Liberals cheer!


13 posted on 06/02/2006 12:14:02 PM PDT by bigfootbob
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To: bigfootbob

Bush hates Yosemite


14 posted on 06/02/2006 12:18:42 PM PDT by Fighting Irish
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To: AnAmericanMother

Thanks for the pic and reminder.


15 posted on 06/02/2006 12:20:22 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - "The Road to Peace in the Middle East runs thru Damascus.")
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To: NormsRevenge
Unstable geology and roads don't mix . . .

. . . and that part of the world could hardly be LESS stable.

( . . . we live on solid granite, but even here there were effects felt from the New Madrid Quake . . . )

16 posted on 06/02/2006 12:21:35 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: NormsRevenge

F&^%$#g global warming...


17 posted on 06/02/2006 12:24:41 PM PDT by pabianice
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To: NormsRevenge
preventing crews from removing an estimated 250-300 tons of debris

A slide L600' x W600' x D300' weights a lot more than 250-300 tons.

18 posted on 06/02/2006 12:27:52 PM PDT by fso301
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To: mylife

That sucks for all the park employees who live in El Portal. It's a long drive the other way around to get to work.


19 posted on 06/02/2006 12:29:04 PM PDT by Rev DMV
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To: fso301

No kidding.
More like 250-300 thousand tons
Or 250-300 million pounds.


20 posted on 06/02/2006 12:30:47 PM PDT by calljack (Sometimes your worst nightmare is just a start.)
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To: fso301

Styrofoam rock slide, maybe? I have a few stryrofoam rocks for decoration around my house.


21 posted on 06/02/2006 12:32:36 PM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: NormsRevenge
Every year they run articles in the paper about Yosemite being "damaged" by rock slides and the millions of dollars that will be required to "repair" it.

Question: Didn't rock slides create Yosemite?

I heard on the radio this AM that the county was going to declare a disaster area and request federal aid.

There are at least 4 other main highways into the park.

Everything is a disaster area now.

22 posted on 06/02/2006 12:36:14 PM PDT by keat (I'm carbon neutral - how 'bout you?)
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To: keat
Question: Didn't rock slides create Yosemite?

Maybe after the glaciers did their work....


23 posted on 06/02/2006 12:48:48 PM PDT by BullDog108 ("Conservatives believe in God. Liberals think they are God." ---Ann Coulter)
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To: NormsRevenge
but rocks continued to fall Thursday, preventing crews from removing an estimated 250-300 tons of debris

Attention occupation media. This is more than 250-300 tons. I'm sure the writer thought this was a big number after making it up.
24 posted on 06/02/2006 1:07:13 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the occupation media.)
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To: NormsRevenge


25 posted on 06/02/2006 1:14:43 PM PDT by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)
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To: All

It's a MIRACLE no one was buried!!!!


26 posted on 06/02/2006 1:20:06 PM PDT by jackibutterfly (.)
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To: calcowgirl

Fantastic pics! Sure gives a great perspective. Thanks.


27 posted on 06/02/2006 1:20:53 PM PDT by jackibutterfly (.)
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To: bigfootbob
Boulder makes Yosemite roadless...Liberals cheer!

Is Tioga Pass still snowed in?

28 posted on 06/02/2006 1:50:27 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Make them go home!!)
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To: keat
There are at least 4 other main highways into the park.

At least? Try, exactly. Highways 140 and 41 enter from the West and South, respectively, and highway 120 runs through the park from the North entrance -- no blocked by this rockslide -- across the top to the East Partal atop the breathtaking Tioga Pass.

Other than these, there are several smaller access roads, though none of them ought to be viewed as "highways" and most should be avoided by anyone with the least susceptibility to carsickness and some may require four-wheel drive and/or be barred by locked gates.

For the record, however, here are the options:
Evergreen Road, which ends at Hetch-Hetchy Reservoir.
Aspen Valley Road, which branches off East from Evergreen and runs for about six miles into the park before it peters out.
Old Big Oak Flat Road, which heads South off of Evergreen down to highway 120 about 1/2mi north of where it takes off across the top to Tioga Pass.
Old Coulterville-Yosemite Road, which starts out as Greely Hill Road at the nexus of highways 49 and 132 and winds tortuously eastward for 16 miles before wandering into the park to meet highway 120.
Chowchilla Mountain Road, which heads into Wawona from the West.

Inside the park...
Old Coulterville Road splits south off of Old Coulterville-Yosemite Road about 1 mile south of highway 120 and wanders southeast out and back into the park, passing the north edge of Crane Flat (the settlement, not the campground) before meeting highway 140 about 2mi west of the junction with highway 120
Crane Flat Road takes off of a frontage on the north side of highway 140 near the West Portal, exits the park then reenters it about a mile before running into the heart of Crane Flat

And for the truly daring (or reckless):
Incline road, a frontage north of highway 140 that can be accessed only at the West Portal to the park or at Briceburg Road, 14 miles to the west, gives access to Bragg Road 2 miles west of the West Portal. Bragg Road runs north to a right turn onto forest service road NF-2S20 that, just to be confusing, splits into north and south forks. Take the south fork (aka. "Moses Canyon Truck Trail") for about six miles until it enters the park and runs into Old Coulterville-Yosemite Road about 1,000 feet west of the spilt with Old Coulterville Road. As an alternative, you can take a right as you cross forest service road NF-1S12 and tee into Old Coulterville Road. From there, a left takes you north to highway 120 and a right takes you south through Crane Flat then east to highway 140.

I MAKE NO CLAIM AS TO THE CONDITION OF ANY ROUTE MENTIONED NOR DO I ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE ACTS OF FREE MORAL AGENTS WITH RESPECT TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS POST.

29 posted on 06/02/2006 2:02:30 PM PDT by HKMk23 (We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well, and live.)
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To: HKMk23
Old Coulterville-Yosemite Road, which starts out as Greely Hill Road at the nexus of highways 49 and 132 and winds tortuously eastward for 16 miles before wandering into the park to meet highway 120

I've done that, what a thrill, like driving in a cartoon.

As the crow flies, it's closest to me but I'll drive down to Merced just for the sake of sanity.

30 posted on 06/02/2006 2:19:56 PM PDT by keat (I'm carbon neutral - how 'bout you?)
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To: Mike Darancette
Is Tioga Pass still snowed in?

Cal Trans still shows as closed but I thought I heard it opened last week. Maybe they got late snow.

31 posted on 06/02/2006 2:25:35 PM PDT by keat (I'm carbon neutral - how 'bout you?)
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To: NormsRevenge
The photos above are kinda misleading. I was thinking that they should just get a couple of guys with shovels and a pickup and just clean it up. I found out this was not the case. I'm about 5 miles away from the slide (as the crow flies) and a ranger friend showed me this picture. You can see that the slide actually starts just below the top of the mountain. If you look real carefully, you can see the high voltage lines across the face of this thing. If this thing lets go, the Merced River will become the Merced Reservoir. This photo was taken the first week of May, when they thought they could open the road to traffic. For a sense of scale, That's an 18 wheeler at the very bottom with a flatbed loaded with heavy earth moving equipment.

BTW, Tioga Pass is still closed and probably will be until about the 4th of July. Hwy 108 (Sonora Pass) is open, though.

Mariposa Co. S.O. has current photos of the slide at this link.


32 posted on 06/02/2006 4:59:37 PM PDT by Chinito (6990th Security Group, RC-135/Combat Apple, SEA Class of '68)
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To: RobRoy

They might as well have used crepe paper for all the good it was going to do against that slide.


33 posted on 06/02/2006 5:00:55 PM PDT by Petronski (I just love that woman.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I happen to live on the other main road to Yosemite, and it isn't closed!


34 posted on 06/02/2006 5:01:48 PM PDT by ladyinred
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