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File photo, Willow Creek flooding 2017 (Gina Clugston)

Flash Flood Warning In Western Mariposa County, Roads Closed

MARIPOSA – CHP, Caltrans, County Roads, Sheriff’s deputies, Cal Fire, PG&E and other first responders are racing to keep up with the rapidly developing situation in Mariposa County as rain continues to fall, and waters continue to rise.

The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office has just issued the following warning:

FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCY FOR western Mariposa County, including the Detwiler Burn Scar area, and the city of Mariposa.

The National Weather Service in Hanford has issued a Flash Flood Warning for western Mariposa County in central California, southwestern Tuolumne County in northern California, east central Merced County in central California until 6:45 p.m.

Emergency management reported heavy rain across the warned area. Flash flooding is occurring.


Some locations that will experience flooding include Bootjack, Mariposa, Catheys Valley and Lake McClure. Excessive rainfall over the burn scar will result in debris flow around the Detwiler Burn Scar. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.

This is a rapidly changing situation, and closures can change moment to moment.

There are reports of heavy water flow over the roadway from Mt. Bullion north, and there is a hard closure just north of Bear Valley. Bear Valley Road is reported impassable, and Hornitos Road is reported to be completely washed out at Old Toll.

There are also reports of a large crack in the roadway on Highway 140 near Briceburg at the Ferguson slide area. CHP reports it’s “like the roadway is sliding into the river.”

Highway 140 at Catheys Valley Drive is closed due to flooding, and there are reports that the roadbed has been compromised. The highway is being closed at Yaqui Gulch due to the creek flowing across the roadway.

Highway 59 east from Merced is requested to be closed near Snelling. The exact location hasn’t been determined at this hour.

Other closures include:

  • Totokon at Old Hwy Bridge is closed
  • Indian Peak at Hirsh Bridge is closed
  • Harris Road Crossing is closed
  • Mormon Bar Crossing is closed
  • Indian Peak Bridge is closed

Many vehicles, including those responding to the rapidly developing situation, are trapped by high water or stuck in the mud. Search and Rescue is responding to assist in some areas.


Move to higher ground now. This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation. Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order.

Red Cross had opened an evacuation center at Mariposa Elementary School, 5044 Jones Street for those who can not get home due to flooded roads.

These conditions are changing rapidly. For updates and the most current road closures, please visit http://www.dot.ca.gov and type in the highway you are looking for.

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