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Merced River to start receding in Yosemite, but some flooding still possible

Floodwaters that have risen on the Merced River, shown here at Pohono Bridge, are expected to start dropping later Saturday.
Floodwaters that have risen on the Merced River, shown here at Pohono Bridge, are expected to start dropping later Saturday.

Minor flooding continued in Yosemite National Park Saturday as the Merced River rose above flood stage in one stretch, the result of melting snow in the Sierra.

A flood warning issued by the National Weather Service continued to be in force at the Pohono Bridge. As of 8 a.m., the river was at 11 feet at the bridge. Flood stage is 10 feet.

The weather service said water would start receding Saturday afternoon. Floodwaters will drop to 10 feet, then to 9 feet Sunday morning. The river will then remain at that level.

Rafting and floating on the river is banned once the Merced exceeds 6.5 feet.

Chapel Meadow in Yosemite Valley and Cook’s Meadow will overflow as long as the level remains near 9 feet. Part of the Lower Pines Campground floods near 9.5 feet, which could cause an evacuation of nearby Housekeeping Camp.

At 10 feet, the western portion of North Pines Campground at the east end of Yosemite Valley can flood. The water will top a swinging bridge near Chapel Meadow at 10.5 feet, while a sewage pumping station at North Pines will flood at 11.5 feet.

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