2017-02-09 / Front Page

Heavy rain continues to pound County

By Gazette staff

Mother Nature did not let up on Mariposa County this week.

On Tuesday morning, rain continued to pound the County, including flooding reported in many areas.

One of the most notable was in the 49er Center where water was flowing through the parking lot and toward High Country Health Foods and Cafe.

Personnel from various agencies were on the scene of the flooding.

There was also widespread flooding reported throughout the County — from Cathey’s Valley to Yosemite National Park. Parts of Highway 140 were reported closed near the El Portal area.

A flash flood warning was issued for part of Tuesday.

Mariposa County Department of Public Works Director Tony Stobbe told the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday a very early estimate for damage from the weekend storms was $400,000 to $700,000.

However, he said that is an early estimate and officials are doing a complete inventory of County infrastructure — including 55 official bridges. As of Tuesday, Stobbe said most of the bridges seemed to have endured the storm well but he noted as the rain continues to fall, they will have to closely monitor the situation.

Stobbe also urged residents to notify public works officials if they see damage.

“We welcome and appreciate all damage reports,” said Stobbe.

Stobbe said one of the biggest issues facing the County is the impact of the five-year drought combined with the problems of tree mortality.

He said the County’s infrastructure was designed well, but with all of the debris that has resulted from tree mortality, many of the culverts and other structures become clogged in heavy rains.

Stobbe urged “common sense” by residents as they traverse County roads. Many shoulders are compromised and weak because of the heavy rains, he said.

The weather forecast for the region called for rain throughout Tuesday with a break in the showers on Wednesday. More rain is predicted for Thursday and part of Friday.

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