Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yosemite storm, park still power-less, friends still shower-free

Ate breakfast in town today, running into several people we know, including one couple who've been without power for 3 days.

You can spot them a mile away since they are double their normal girth, they have SO many layers on. Their house is 40 dF inside. Yeesh! And for them no power = no water = trundling to friend's for a bath.

We've been REALLY really lucky, having power pretty much the whole time (knocking wood), even though we also lost a few trees. Just heard some people up higher in elevation, but not far from us, will probably have to wait until TUESDAY for power. YIKES! Apparently the Highway 140 corridor is swarming with PG&E folks.

Heard lots of stories of huge oak trees splitting, one crushed a car, apparently on the first day of the storm (Sunday? Monday?) folks in "Old El Portal" couldn't get out via car 'cause there were so many trees down. And, you know, trees falling can mash power lines down, too...

So, lots of chainsaws roaring down there. I did hear the road (Highway 140) to the park is open, but the PARK itself is NOT open.

With the big snow, some automated data collection stations are powered by solar panels, and they can get covered in snow so their power goes away. That may explain the black shots at this Yosemite web cam site.

One web cam shows just a pile of snow blocking the view. =)

Of course, always check with the park before you leave to be sure it's open, and for road conditions, check Caltrans--for heaven's sake, don't take MY word for it!

I hope you are all warm and dry, or whatever comfortable means to you.




  1. Bummer. Do you have a line of people wanting to borrow your bath? A wood stove is amazingly handy in these situations with a battery-backed well. Usually our power goes out once or twice a winter for 1-5 days. It's a good excuse to clean out our fridge and freezer completely, since it's too warm here on the coast to simply place food outside. Hoping your luck continues!

  2. Battery-backed well--I'd not heard of that. Will definitely have to mention to Bear, 'cause all I'd heard of (tho' this is NOT my department) is gas-powered generators. Thanks for the lead!

  3. Growing up miles from any town, our power went out all the time. It took a couple times before my dad figured out he could hook a battery to our well so that at least we could have fresh water. Heating it was another story. Say, do you know and/or follow Tree in the Door?

  4. @ Katie: Thanks for the blog link--I've never heard of it and it's, of course, RIGHT up my alley. Well, right down my highway. =) Great bobcat stuff. =) Now I'm wondering if he's NPS or a concessioner...

  5. I love those photos, especially the first. I think that's what I miss the most, living here in the Fraser Valley; the towering rocks almost overhead.

    Re: snowstorm and water. I remember many a spit bath with water from a bucket of thawed snow warmed over a wood stove. I can't imagine not having a wood stove, or at least a fireplace, where you are likely to be snowed in.

  6. @ Susannah--oh, yeah, wood stove is the BOMB.

  7. Thanks for the update, bb. Been wondering...

    After dinner (at the Forks at Bass Lake), we drove up Hwy 426 a nd the 620, looking at all the trees down in Oakhurst. Almost EVERY yard was affected, either with oaks splitting into big hunks or with smaller trees completely uprooted. It truly looked like a tornado came through. Heavy snow, wind, saturated ground and oaks hollowed out by diease or rot are the only explanations I can think of.

    I checked out that blog link. Pretty neat! Have you seen
    ? Also a good wildlife blog.


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