Flooding Dangers loom If Sierra Snowpack melts too Quickly
The record rainfall this year has left the mountains in Northern California with a lot of snowpack. According to state and NASA reports, some areas have snow that is 80 feet deep. This vast layer of mountain snowpack is a potential danger downstream if temperatures rise and cause rapid snowmelt. Public agencies have been trying to avoid flooding and have been keeping an eye on water levels across California’s network of reservoirs to figure out how much water to release into rivers, bypasses, creeks, and canals. Dustin Fuller, manager of the Cross Creek Flood Control District, states:
I can tell you farm ground will go under this year — I don’t know to what extent. My job is to look at the worst-case scenario, and the worst-case scenario is water encompasses this whole area.
Water district managers have to coordinate reservoir water release because released water affects water levels downstream days later. The main issue is that some water rivers and levees support different levels of water and water district managers must decide how much water can be supported before they overflow. The Central Valley is the most vulnerable because the years of drought have caused the ground to sink, which puts many farms in danger of having their crops flooded. Hopefully no flooding occurs or at the very list a minimal amount to avoid major damage.
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