As hundreds of frustrated residents returned home Thursday to begin cleaning up the damage from the worst South Bay flooding in decades, water district officials said they tried to warn city officials in the hours before Coyote Creek spilled into neighborhoods that potentially destructive flows would arrive within three to four hours.
A local emergency has been declared by Fresno County officials because of a weakened levee operated by Tranquillity Irrigation District and the continued high flows into local waterways from reservoir releases.
Those who have been keeping an eye on the numbers at Don Pedro Reservoir the last couple of days might have noticed something that seems troubling: since officials opened a spillway to release water, the level actually has been rising.
On a day where officials issued a new flash flood watch for the lower San Joaquin River, the mayor of San Jose acknowledged that his city failed to properly notify residents to evacuate during a flood emergency early Wednesday when some people said they got their first notice by seeing firefighters in boats in the neighborhood.
The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking problem solvers to develop new or improved analytical methods for estimating the water storage capacity and/or sedimentation volume of reservoirs managed by Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The best solution that meets the technical requirements for this prize competition will receive $50,000. Up to an additional $25,000 may be awarded for meeting additional, but not essential, criteria.
At the end of the week Shasta County residents may see a brief pause in an otherwise active rainy season, but flooding will continue to pose a threat for many low-lying areas along the Sacramento River and near other tributaries.
A day after rescuers boated hundreds of people to safety during San Jose’s worst flooding in decades, city officials Wednesday let many of the 14,000 evacuated residents return home and blamed the sudden overflow of Coyote Creek on bad information about its capacity.
As heavy winter storms continue to hammer California, the Legislature is launching a review of dam and levee safety and bracing for major investments necessary to shore up flood control throughout the state.
Nine days ago, with the Oroville Dam under stress and battered by more harsh weather, Gov. Jerry Brown said he had no immediate plans to visit the site, suggesting “I don’t think they need politicians fluttering around.”
Lake Oroville will partially reopen on Thursday, nearly two weeks after more than 180,000 Northern California residents evacuated their homes and the lake area closed due to fears that the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam could fail.
The Department of Water Resources plans to remove at least some of the debris at the bottom of the Oroville Dam spillway and study the structure, but just aren’t sure when they’ll have a chance to do that.
Last May, Donald Trump stood in an arena full of farmers from California’s desiccated Central Valley and said words many yearned to hear: “If I win, believe me, we’re going to start opening up the water.”