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Caltrans closes Highway 140 due to ongoing storm

Rain causes minor street flooding in Merced

Rain caused minor street flooding in parts of Merced, Calif., on Saturday, April 7, 2018.
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Rain caused minor street flooding in parts of Merced, Calif., on Saturday, April 7, 2018.

Caltrans on Wednesday shutdown a portion of Highway 140 around the Ferguson Fire burn scar in Mariposa County due to ongoing storms.

Caltrans said about 17 miles of road will be closed from Bear Creek near Midpines to Foresta Road in El Portal, about four miles west of the Yosemite National Park entrance.

Storm conditions may cause risks along this stretch of road including mudslides and movement of debris such as rocks onto the highway lanes, Caltrans warns.

There was no word on when the road might reopen.

Chains are required on all vehicles except four-wheel-drive vehicles on State Route 41 from 3.5 miles north of Big Cedar Springs in Mardera County to one half mile south of Yosemite National Park, according to Caltrans.

Potential rain has been forecast for the Merced area for the rest of the week and into the weekend, according to meteorologists.

Merced has received about 0.18 inches of rain since midnight and about half of an inch to an inch of rain is expected through the rest of the week and into the weekend, according to Colin McKellar, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Hanford.

According to McKellar, weak rain systems are predicted to move through the area over the weekend producing light rainfall.

McKellar said a flood advisory for the valley has been canceled and additional flooding is not expected for the southern area of Merced County.

High temperatures for the Merced area are expected to be in the 50s for the rest of the week with lows dipping into the upper 30s.

McKellar said that with the current system snow is expected in the Mariposa area and into Yosemite National Park.

Over the weekend, weather conditions could produce less than a foot of additional snowfall for the Sierras.

“With colder air coming into the area we could be seeing snowfall down to about 3,000 feet,” said McKellar.

McKellar said hydrological effects could cause flooding concerns for the foothills area.

In the valley, significant wind speeds are expected beginning Wednesday and continuing into Thursday.

“We could be looking at sustained wind speeds tomorrow of about 20 to 25 mph,” said McKellar.

Wind gusts are expected to reach up to 40 mph and the current wind advisory could be extended, he said.

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