FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Rangers at Yosemite National Park announced they were shutting down all access roads into the park Friday afternoon in preparation for a potent winter storm that was expected to send the Merced River over its banks.

Park spokeswoman Jamie Richards said that some areas of the park outside of the valley would remain open, but visitors should be aware of recent wet weather causing hazardous conditions, such as icy roads and falling debris.

Rangers were keeping an especially close eye on the Pohono Bridge, which crosses the Merced River deep in Yosemite Valley. Richards said that flooding there starts when the water level reaches 10 feet.

A large storm in 1997 flooded Yosemite Valley, closing the park for two months and washing out roads, lodging and campgrounds.

However, rangers don’t expect damaging conditions like those 20 years ago, officials said.


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