More rain, road closures, Badger Pass closed (Dec 31, 2005)

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It seems like every New Year's we have a bit storm.  This year, it is coming in the form of rain and the Merced is close to overflowing its banks, the waterfalls are huge and there is water streaming down everywhere. Yosemite Falls, interestingly, is no bigger than its typical spring maximum and Bridal Veil about the same, but many of the smaller falls are just running like crazy.

Unfortunately, so are the ski slopes at Badger Pass, which closed today (it was supposed to be my first day of teaching skiing). Badger should reopen for New Year's Day, hopefully with some fresh snow (snowing a little now). By mid-afternoon, there were trees falling down all over due to soft ground and high winds. One hit the Awahnee (no real damage), several big ones came down on pretty much every road. Hwy 41 was closed off and on through out the day and, after clearing the Badger Pass road to get employees out, they gave up on that road until tomorrow.  As I write this, the Park Service is intermittently letting people leave, but all roads into Yosemite are closed.

I suspect that the only thing keeping us from a 100-year flood like in January 1997 is the fact that there was so little snow when these rains hit.  Still, if it continues to rain high rather than snow, the Merced could run its banks tomorrow.

I spent a good portion of the day in the Valley and rambled around looking at the water, but after a couple shots of Bridal Veil Fall in a horizontal rain, my camera got moisture inside it and fogged up, so pretty much all the pictures I got are full of water drops or fog. None worth sharing.

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