CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Winter Storms and Wonderlands of America's National Parks.

 

 

 

Flowing again: A general view of the Yosemite Falls flowing in Yosemite National Park in December after picture two days of heavy rains have re-invigorated the landmark falls 'Snow and ice turns national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands into a wonderland,' says the Department. Pictured: Washington 

At least two people were killed as a major storm pummeled the Pacific northwest and California with heavy rain and high winds, causing houses to be swallowed up by the ocean in Washington as power was knocked out to tens of thousands of homes.

In Oregon the 80mph winds proved deadly, with a teenage boy killed when a large tree fell on the vehicle he was travelling in, causing it to swerve and hit a tree. A homeless man was also killed by a falling tree.

Houses in Washaway Beach were ripped away by rising tides along the shore of Pacific County, with owners rushing to save any belongings before they were eaten up by the swirling sea.

Fear of mudslides led to evacuations at 10pm last night in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendora, where the foothills were stripped bare by a major wildfire earlier this year.

Some 240 departing and incoming commercial flights were canceled at San Francisco International Airport and others were delayed for more than two hours, airport managers said. 

Scroll down for video

Swallowed: A home in Washaway Beach, Washington, crashes into the Pacific as a winter storm hits the western United States Thursday

+32

Swallowed: A home in Washaway Beach, Washington, crashes into the Pacific as a winter storm hits the western United States Thursday

Wreck: The same storm lashed northern and central California on Thursday with heavy rain and high winds, knocking out electricity to tens of thousands of homes, disrupting commercial flights and prompting school closures in the San Francisco Bay area

+32

Wreck: The same storm lashed northern and central California on Thursday with heavy rain and high winds, knocking out electricity to tens of thousands of homes, disrupting commercial flights and prompting school closures in the San Francisco Bay area

Taken by the sea: The houses, in Washaway Beach, were ripped away by rising tides along the shore of Pacific County, with owners rushing to save any belongings before they were eaten up by the swirling sea

+32

Taken by the sea: The houses, in Washaway Beach, were ripped away by rising tides along the shore of Pacific County, with owners rushing to save any belongings before they were eaten up by the swirling sea

Aftermath: A woman watches waves roll in near a damaged house in Washaway Beach, Washington, on December 11, 2014

+32

Aftermath: A woman watches waves roll in near a damaged house in Washaway Beach, Washington, on December 11, 2014

Little left: A swing hangs from a tree near a damaged home in Washaway Beach, Washington

+32

Little left: A swing hangs from a tree near a damaged home in Washaway Beach, Washington

A home balances on the remains of its foundation in Washaway Beach, Washington, following a Pacific winter storm Thursday

+32

A home balances on the remains of its foundation in Washaway Beach, Washington, following a Pacific winter storm Thursday

The same storm lashed northern and central California on Thursday with heavy rain and high winds, knocking out electricity to tens of thousands of homes, disrupting commercial flights and prompting school closures in the San Francisco Bay area

+32

The same storm lashed northern and central California on Thursday with heavy rain and high winds, knocking out electricity to tens of thousands of homes, disrupting commercial flights and prompting school closures in the San Francisco Bay area

The deluge predicted to sweep in from near Hawaii on the back of a river of moisture called the Pineapple Express that will inundate the West Coast from western Washington south to the San Francisco Bay with up to a foot of rain over two days

+32

The deluge predicted to sweep in from near Hawaii on the back of a river of moisture called the Pineapple Express that will inundate the West Coast from western Washington south to the San Francisco Bay with up to a foot of rain over two days

The two days of storms, high tides, high winds, and high surf have all combined to eat away at the shoreline at Washaway Beach

+32

The two days of storms, high tides, high winds, and high surf have all combined to eat away at the shoreline at Washaway Beach

A rope does little to keep an old log, which was once located under a paved road, from being consumed by the Pacific Ocean

+32

A rope does little to keep an old log, which was once located under a paved road, from being consumed by the Pacific Ocean

Cleanup operations underway as major storm pummels California

As well as the two killed, a man in southwest Washington state, and a sixth-grader at an elementary school in Santa Cruz, California, were injured by falling trees.

Flights were cancelled and schools were closed as the tumultuous storm lashed the west coast throughout the evening. 

San Francisco's famed cable car system was replaced by shuttle buses and a subway station was shut down through the morning rush hour because of a power outage and flooding, and the city's electrified bus system was halted in many areas, transit officials said.

The Embarcadero, the city's popular waterfront walkway, was closed due to flooding and some ferries were also canceled, stranding commuters.

Some streets and major intersections were flooded in the San Francisco area, including the westbound lanes of Interstate 280 in the East Bay suburb of El Cerrito, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Winds howled through Sacramento, the state capital, rattling buildings and whipping through trees before dawn, followed by heavy downpours.

The launch of an Atlas V rocket was scrubbed from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

In southern Oregon, a homeless man camping with his 18-year-old son along the Pacific Crest Trail in the Ashland area was killed early on Thursday morning when a tree toppled onto their tent, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said.

Water covers one of several vehicles stranded in an Ashby Ave. in Berkeley after a powerful storm churned through Northern California

+32

Water covers one of several vehicles stranded in an Ashby Ave. in Berkeley after a powerful storm churned through Northern California

The 'Pineapple Express', a storm front extending from west of Hawaii and aimed directly at California, bringing strong gales and sheets of rain that knocked out electricity, flooded freeways and toppled trees in Northern California Thursday

+32

The 'Pineapple Express', a storm front extending from west of Hawaii and aimed directly at California, bringing strong gales and sheets of rain that knocked out electricity, flooded freeways and toppled trees in Northern California Thursday

Terrifying: An SUV is crushed by a massive oak tree during a storm in San Jose on Thursday. No injuries were reported

+32

Terrifying: An SUV is crushed by a massive oak tree during a storm in San Jose on Thursday. No injuries were reported

Thar she blows: This photo provided by Robert Gower shows a manhole cover getting blown out by water rushing under a street in San Francisco street on Thursday

+32

Thar she blows: This photo provided by Robert Gower shows a manhole cover getting blown out by water rushing under a street in San Francisco street on Thursday

Stalled cars wait for help at an intersection in South San Francisco on Thursday as the wicked Pineapple Express-fueled storm lashed the West Coast

+32

Stalled cars wait for help at an intersection in South San Francisco on Thursday as the wicked Pineapple Express-fueled storm lashed the West Coast

Three people use a canoe to make their way through a flooded parking lot at a shopping center in Healdsburg, California

+32

Three people use a canoe to make their way through a flooded parking lot at a shopping center in Healdsburg, California

A man finds the strength to smile after discovering his car almost completely submerged in flood waters in Guerneville, California

+32

A man finds the strength to smile after discovering his car almost completely submerged in flood waters in Guerneville, California

Traffic lights continue to flash from red to green, but vehicles stopped passing through Highway 121 in Sonoma, California, hours earlier

+32

Traffic lights continue to flash from red to green, but vehicles stopped passing through Highway 121 in Sonoma, California, hours earlier

Need a lift? A resident of Healdsburg, California, peers through the window of a car to check if the driver is safe from the floods

+32

Need a lift? A resident of Healdsburg, California, peers through the window of a car to check if the driver is safe from the floods

Why does it always rain on me? A woman, carrying an umbrella in a futile attempt to keep her dry, makes her way home from the shops

+32

A spot of rain never stopped us: A woman and her partner make their way through the floods which have affected much of the west coast

Why does it always rain on me? A woman, carrying an umbrella in a futile attempt to keep her dry, makes her way home from the shops

+32

Why does it always rain on me? A woman, carrying an umbrella in a futile attempt to keep her dry, makes her way home from the shops

Hailey Thistle, 8, walks into a flooded parking lot at a shopping center Thursday in Healdsburg, California

+32

Hailey Thistle, 8, walks into a flooded parking lot at a shopping center Thursday in Healdsburg, California

A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain

+32

A man uses a kayak to make his way around a flooded parking lot at a shopping center in Healdsburg on Thursday

A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain

+32

A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain

California saw one of the worst droughts in history but Yosemite National Park's waterfalls are back adding a droplet of hope in the dry state.

Following powerful storms in December the Yosemite Falls are back after having dried up in June and failing to flow again in November like they have in the past.

Two major storms that moved through California revived the Yosemite Falls along with the Bridevall Fall and the Cascarde Fall, reports The Huffington Post.

Flowing again: A general view of the Yosemite Falls flowing in Yosemite National Park in December after picture two days of heavy rains have re-invigorated the landmark falls

+4

Flowing again: A general view of the Yosemite Falls flowing in Yosemite National Park in December after picture two days of heavy rains have re-invigorated the landmark falls

Dried up: This photo shows the famous Yosemite Falls minus the water this summer after drought in California dried up one of the state's most famous natural wonders 

+4

Dried up: This photo shows the famous Yosemite Falls minus the water this summer after drought in California dried up one of the state's most famous natural wonders

Park employee Ryan Sheridan told The Los Angeles Times that when he first saw water flowing off the rocks he was skeptical that the falls had actually returned.

'One day later, Yosemite Falls came back. I was riding my bike to work and I just stopped and kept looking,' Ryan Sheridan, an employee at one of the park’s restaurants, said

'It's hard to miss. It's the essence of pure power.'

Yosemite Falls is the parks most famous waterfall and is one of the tallest in North America.

There are three separate waterfalls that drop a total of 2,425 feet.

'Hopefully we get a lot of snow and the falls come back with a vengeance,' continued Sheridan.

I don't think it means the drought is over or that the climate isn't changing, but it's comforting to see a natural process greater than anything we can control.'

Despite the waterfalls return, this month's rain isn't doing much to improve the drought afflicting the state.

State Officials said on December 12 that consistent rains will be necessary to water California which is in its fourth year of drought.

As a consequence of the drought, California saw some of its most violent wildfires including the Rim Fire of 21013, the worst fire in Sierra Nevada history.

There was also a huge fire in September that forced officials to airlift 100 hikers from Half Dome in the Yosemite National Park.

Park Employee Lucy Garces, 27, said that she found the sound of the falls comforting after an especially dry summer.

'I was a little terrified this summer. There were fires all around. Every time, they said it depended on which way the wind blew if there was going to be fire in the valley,' she said.

‘Now there are waterfalls surrounding us again.’

Dry summer: Following powerful storms in December the Yosemite Falls are back after having dried up in June (pictured) and failing to flow again in November like they have in the past

+4

Dry summer: Following powerful storms in December the Yosemite Falls are back after having dried up in June (pictured) and failing to flow again in November like they have in the past

Crippling drought: Dry Yosemite Falls, pictured this summer, are a result of drought hitting California for the last four years

+4

Crippling drought: Dry Yosemite Falls, pictured this summer, are a result of drought hitting California for the last four years

 

 

 

 

 

 

These stunning snaps capture the country's true winter wonderlands as Mother Nature's icy grip takes hold of America's National Parks.

From snow-capped mountains in Yosemite to an icy still Glacier Bay, the incredible images show their natural beauty is truly year round.

In other breathtaking shots crisp frost lines the paths through Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee.

Meanwhile, Oregon's Crater Lake boasts more than just a slight dusting of snow.

Go inside the stunning caves of Apostle Island National Lakeshore Park in Wisconsin.

Or experience the rare views of a snow-capped Grand Canyon.

All of the images were collated by the US Department of the Interior, which is the agency that protects US land, water and wildlife.

Tim Fullerton, Director of Digital Strategy, said: 'America's public lands are just as beautiful this time of year as they are in the warmer months.

'Snow and ice turns national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands into a winter wonderland, enhancing the beauty of nature in America's great outdoors.'

These stunning snaps, collated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, showcase America's National Parks in all their winter glory. Pictured: Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee

+12

These stunning snaps, collated by the U.S. Department of the Interior, showcase America's National Parks in all their winter glory. Pictured: Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee

A picturesque winter wonderland blankets Oregon's Crater Lake National Park

+12

A picturesque winter wonderland blankets Oregon's Crater Lake National Park

Explore the stunning ice-filled interior of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore Park caves in Wisconsin

+12

Explore the stunning ice-filled interior of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore Park caves in Wisconsin

A rare shot of a snow-capped Grand Canyon at sunset is a truly breathtaking sight to be seen

+12

A rare shot of a snow-capped Grand Canyon at sunset is a truly breathtaking sight to be seen

The Northern Lights are photographed high above the trees of Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska

+12

The Northern Lights are photographed high above the trees of Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska

Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve dotted with snow looks like a scene from a movie

+12

Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve dotted with snow looks like a scene from a movie

'Snow and ice turns national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands into a wonderland,' says the Department. Pictured: Washington 

+12

'Snow and ice turns national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands into a wonderland,' says the Department. Pictured: Washington 

'Snow and ice turns national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands into a wonderland,' says the Department. Pictured: Washington 

+12

The last light of the day in the Tatoosh Mountains and Mount Adams as seen from the Skyline Trail in Washington

The Conway Summit Mountain Pass in California is located next to Yosemite National Park

+12

The Conway Summit Mountain Pass in California is located next to Yosemite National Park

The Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado has an impressive pine tree line that goes on for miles

+12

The Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado has an impressive pine tree line that goes on for miles

Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming is a kaleidoscope of fall colours with majestic mountains in the background

+12

Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming is a kaleidoscope of fall colours with majestic mountains in the background

Alaska's Denali National Park and Preserve offers stunning vistas in daylight as well as evening

+12

Alaska's Denali National Park and Preserve offers stunning vistas in daylight as well as evening

Yellowstone, the first national park in the world, was established by the U.S. Congress in 1872 and has welcomed millions of visitors in the 139 years since. Last year, Yellowstone recorded its highest number of visitors ever, as some 3.6 million people passed through its gates. Its well-known geothermal features -- geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles -- owe their existence to the massive Yellowstone Caldera, a 45-mile-wide volcanic system beneath the park. Tourists are also drawn to Yellowstone's hundreds of species of wildlife, massive waterfalls, and incredible vistas. Collected below are a few recent views of Yellowstone National Park. [41 photos]

Use j/k keys or ←/→ to navigate Choose: 1024px 1280px

A rainbow appears at the base of the Yellowstone River Lower Falls in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, on June 21, 2011.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

2

A coyote hunts in a the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, on June 20, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

3

A tree sits on a submerged island in Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park, on June 21, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

4

Tourists watch the "Old Faithful" geyser, which erupts on average every 90 minutes, in Yellowstone National Park, on June 1, 2011.(Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #

5

A herd of elk travels through the Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, on June 21, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

6

A blue-billed ruddy duck lands in Floating Island Lake in Yellowstone National Park, on June 24, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

7

Grizzly bear cubs play on the snow in the Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park, on June 24, 2011. Picture taken June 24, 2011.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

8

View of the "Morning Glory" hot spring with its unique colors caused by brown, orange and yellow algae-like bacteria that thrive in the cooling water, turning the vivid aqua-blue to a murkier greenish brown, in Yellowstone National Park, on June 2, 2011.(Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #

9

The Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest in the United States and third largest in the world, in Yellowstone National Park, photographed on June 22, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

10

The view of the Absaroka Mountain Range of the north eastern stretch of park at sunrise in Yellowstone National Park, on June 22, 2011.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

11

Bison swim across the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park, on June 21, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

12

A bison emerges after swimming across the Yellowstone River, on June 21, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

13

Visitors watch for wolves in the Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park, on June 20, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

14

A Chipmunk stretches while begging for food in Yellowstone National Park, on June 2, 2011. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #

15

Trees line the bank of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park, on June 21, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

16

A fly fisherman on the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, on June 21, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

17

A wolf walks with a pair of elk legs in the Hayden Valley, after killing and eating the elk, in Yellowstone National Park, on June 20, 2011.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

18

The Grand Prismatic Spring, in Yellowstone National Park, photographed on June 22, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

19

A closer view of Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring. Picture taken June 22, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

20

A stream meanders through the Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park, on June 21, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

21

A black bear swims in Rainy Lake, near Tower Falls, in Yellowstone National Park, on June 20, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

22

Steam rises from geysers and thermal features in the Biscuit Basin in Yellowstone National Park, on June 23, 2011.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

23

Michael Smith, center, prepares dinner for son Parker Smith, left, and wife Stacy Smith, right, at their camp site near Norris in Yellowstone National Park, on June 23, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

24

Old Faithful Geyser erupts in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, on June 22, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

25

A herd of bison grazes in the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, on June 20, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

26

The shadow of a pine tree on a eroding cliff face composed of columnar basalt, near Tower Falls, in Yellowstone National Park, on June 22, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

27

A bull elk with velvet still on its antlers grazes near Madison in Yellowstone National Park, on June 19, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

28

View of the Lower Falls at the Yellowstone Grand Canyon in the Yellowstone National Park, on June 2, 2011.(Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #

29

People stand at the brink of the 93-meter tall Yellowstone River Lower Falls in Yellowstone National Park, on June 24, 2011.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

30

A bison rubs scratches itself against a fire hydrant to help remove molting fur, outside the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in Yellowstone National Park, on May 15, 2011. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images) #

31

Water flows on the ever changing travertine-depositing Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park, on June 22, 2011.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

32

A calf in a herd of bison in the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, on June 22, 2011. On average over 3,000 bison live in the park. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

33

A gray wolf and its nursing pups are pictured in Yellowstone National Park in this photograph obtained on May 4, 2011. Federal protections for some 1,200 gray wolves in Montana and Idaho officially ended on May 5, under unprecedented legislation passed by Congress last month removing them from the endangered species list. (Reuters/National Park Service) #

34

Silica from geysers (front) and the partially frozen Yellowstone Lake (back) at the West Thumb Geyser Basin in the Yellowstone National Park, on June 2, 2011. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #

35

A black bear walks across a meadow near Rainy Lake in Yellowstone National Park, on June 20, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

36

Sunset Lake hot spring, lined with unique colors caused by multicolored algae-like bacteria called thermophiles that thrive in the cooling water, turning the vivid aqua-blues to a murkier greenish brown. Photographed in Yellowstone National Park, on June 1, 2011.(Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #

37

Boiling mud and water in Yellowstone National Park, on June 2, 2011. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images) #

38

A night exposure of Old Faithful Geyser erupting in Yellowstone National Park, on June 23, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

39

A fox hunts near Tower Falls in Yellowstone National Park, on June 24, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

40

Boulders deposited long ago by glaciers dot the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, photographed on June 23, 2011.(Reuters/Jim Urquhart) #

41

A black bear runs across a road bridge spanning the Yellowstone River near Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, on June 24, 2011. (Reuters/Jim Urquhart)

 

 

 

No comments: