Merced River Flood 1/2/1997 - Yosemite, CA
Posted by: hotshoe
N 37° 43.046 W 119° 33.501
11S E 274505 N 4177545
Quick Description: Bronze mark in boulder near river gauging station marks the damaging flood level
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 9/13/2010 3:14:42 PM
Waymark Code: WM9PAZ
The entire Yosemite Valley is basically a floodplain, but January 2, 1997 brought the highest water level ever recorded. A combination of deep snowpack above and 24 hours of heavy rain storm which sent melted snow into already-overflowing creeks caused flooding in the valley which stranded 2100 people in the park. Every road out was inundated. About half of the accommodations in the park were lost, trails and footbridges were destroyed, the main highway west washed out in scores of places and remained closed for half a year for repairs. Fortunately, no human lives were lost.
High water signs have been put up many places in the park. This one is a little more interesting because it is a bronze marker permanently embedded in a giant riverside boulder. This boulder is just a few feet from the former pedestrian bridge at Happy Isles, which has never been replaced since being destroyed in the flood.
Natural or man made event?: Natural
What type of marker?: bronze benchmark-style disc
When did this occur?: January 2, 1997
Website related to the event..: [Web Link]
A picture showing the level along with any markers telling of what had occurred can be used. Better yet would be a picture of you or someone standing next to the high level mark, that would show if you would have been just wading or completely submersed.