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Five escape Alpine fire

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Five people were displaced by a duplex fire this afternoon in Sonora.  


Threat of snow closes mountain passes

The threat of snow has closed two mountain passes — Sonora and Ebbetts — with more closures expected later in the day.


Tioga Pass (Highway 120) and Glacier Point roads were set for closure at 6 p.m. today, according to a Yosemite National Park news release.


Highway 108 (Sonora) is closed at Kennedy Meadows, and Highway 4 (Ebbetts) is closed at the Mount Reba turnoff, according to Caltrans officials.


Both passes will reopen when weather permits.


Caltrans will continue to post road-closure information on flashing beacons signs along highways.


Caltrans said weather and road conditions can quickly change and drivers should be prepared for winter conditions.


For updated road information on state highways, call 800-427-7623. For updates on road conditions in Yosemite National Park, call 372-0200.

TH dam braced for winter

A Twain Harte Community Services District sewer pipe is attached to the rock dome that abuts Twain Harte Dam and cracked on Aug. 3. Guy McCarthy / Union Democrat
 Workers and engineers this week were hustling to prepare the damaged Twain Harte dam for coming winter rains and snowfall.

The work entailed drilling a hole in the base of a dam buttress to ensure the now-empty reservoir behind it has a safety outlet in the event of a 10-year storm this winter.

The drilling was in addition to continuing core samples of a granite footing portion of the structure known as “The Rock” which cracked Aug. 3, which spurred panic and a flash flood warning downstream.


Bone-chilling Halloween forecast

Mountain communities in the Central Sierra are expected to get cold rain and snow this weekend, as a Pacific cold front moves through the region.

The National Weather Service has issued a “winter storm warning” for elevations above 5,000 feet, warning drivers of potentially hazardous conditions.

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Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:53:44 -0700