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Yosemite Valley Open But Beware of High Water

| May 21, 2005

Just called into the Park and it looks like all roads are open into Yosemite at this time.

If you’re headed up to the park today beware of the water. Every year the Merced River takes at least one life.

Remember, it takes only 6 inches of fast flowing water to knock a person off their feet or push your car off the roadway.

If you are swept off your feet remember to point your feet downstream, keeping your legs together and swim towards shore. Let the waters momentum carry you to the bank.

Hypothermia is a serious danger with cold water and can set in quickly as the body’s temperature drops to dangerous levels. Warning signs for hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, slow-irregular pulse, glassy stare, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.

Call NPS immediately by dialing 911 from any phone within the Park. Be prepared to tell them where you’re at as best you can. Until EMS personnel arrive you should carefully remove any wet clothing and dry the victim as best you can. Warm the body gradually with blankets or by putting on dry clothing and moving them to a warm environment like the inside of a vehicle until help arrives.

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About Loyd: For over 30 years I've enjoyed hiking, backpacking, fishing, photographing and exploring Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. More About the Author. View author profile.

Comments (1)

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  1. Norbert says:

    During our visit end of Julöy 2005 the question arose about the water temperature of the Merced River close to the Valley Visitor Center. I appreciate any answer for this question.