Local

Kings Canyon National Park suffers from power outage

Thursday, March 24, 2011

For the fourth day in a row, the power is out at Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park. The snow-covered park is still making for a family-friendly vacation for some visitors.

You might not be able to tell, but this large mound of snow is actually the Grant Grove Visitors Center at Kings Canyon National Park. The building is specially designed to ensure access to the center in deep snow, but officials had to shut it down Monday when the power went out. Still, employees dug out signs pointing out where the visitors center is so people can at least tell where they are.

Park Ranger, April Stiltz said, "I feel really bad for the visitors that they can't find it."

With no power or heat, the indoor temperature is a frigid 49 degrees. Officials don't expect the power to come back on until Friday night.

Large icicles are lining the windows outside the John Muir Lodge here but people are staying warm inside thanks to back up generators

Just a few visitors remain at the lodge. Generators are also keeping the lights on at the store, restaurant and market down the road. Susie Worcester and her family are a long way from their home near Monterey. They couldn't resist the opportunity to play in the snow.

"We wanted t o come find some snow and we found some! And we've been sledding all day and it's been great we snow shoed thru the Grant Grove and went to the big giant general grant tree."

Park workers are working extra hard to make sure the few visitors that are at Grant Grove, are comfortable. But with no telephone, they're having to communicate the old fashioned way.

"It's a lot of teamwork, our local radio system has gone down as well so the local residents that are still here and working together to relay messages back and forth especially emergency calls," said Stiltz.

Snow plows are running 24-hours a day to keep the roads clear. But three more feet of snow is expected overnight.

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kings canyon national park, local, jessica peres
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