After a five year drought for much of the West, we have finally received copious amounts of precipitation in Northern California. Is it time to start building an ark? Perhaps. We have been getting hammered with more water than we know what to do with. The reservoirs are filling faster then they can let water out. So in order to meet flood space regulatory requirements in Shasta Lake, flow releases will be increasing to extraordinary high levels.
*These flows will make the Lower Sacramento River below Keswick Dam through Redding to to the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta extremely dangerous!!*
“People recreating in or along the lower American River downstream of Folsom Dam to the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers can expect river levels to increase and should take appropriate safety precautions,” the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said in a news release.
Releases to the Sacramento River have ranged from approximately 3,300 cfs (DWR, 2011) during drought periods and 79,000 cfs during flood events (DWR,1974) so this a major event we have not seen too often.
The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled flow increases ramping up from today, February 9th, through this Sunday.
Scheduled Releases out of Keswick Dam near Redding, CA.
-Friday: 50,000 CFS
-Saturday: 60,000 CFS
*Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko has closed the Sacramento River to boating and other recreation due to higher than normal water releases from Shasta and Keswick dams. The closure does not apply to lakes and will be rescinded once conditions are safe.
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