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Author Topic: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta  (Read 782 times)

Tom

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Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« on: February 13, 2017, 08:31:14 pm »
I just let folks in our boat club know that the planned cruise this upcoming weekend is cancelled for safety reasons. High tides, fast currents, and debris in the water currently make boating on the California Delta dangerous.

Meanwhile, I'm monitoring the conditions at Lake Oroville where recent rains raised water levels over the main spillway. The high runoff opened a 30 foot hole in the concrete spillway. The powers that be decided to activate the auxiliary/emergency spillway for the first time in 50 years, but its earthen (no concrete) construction resulted in huge erosion, and the evacuation of approx 200,000 people living downstream.

The Feather River, fed from Oroville, is a tributary of the Sacramento River. I have no idea what the high water releases will do to water levels in the already-high Delta waterways.
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Massmerch

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Re: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 08:39:09 pm »
That's a tough issue to deal with...I wish you the best.
Randy
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2016 Jeep Unlimited
Hesperia, Ca.

Tom and Margi

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Re: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 09:28:46 pm »
This reminds me of the massive flooding which occurred in 1955.  Tom's family homesteaded in that area in the 1850's and many family members, still living in the area, arrived at his parents house in Berkeley on Christmas Eve 1955 to escape the flooding.  His uncle's business was flooded to the ceiling in Yuba City.  The Oroville Dam was supposed to prevent this from happening again.  The same towns which were evacuated in 1955 are being evacuated again today.  I think some bureaucratic agency "forgot" to do some  maintenance on the dam and spillways. 

Tom

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Re: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 11:41:41 pm »
Thanks for the story Margi.

Quote
I think some bureaucratic agency "forgot" to do some  maintenance on the dam and spillways.

Apparently, they refused to spend the $100M to place concrete on the emergency spillway.

Bob Buchanan has some interesting stories about the CA water/lakes/dam systems from earlier in his career. I wonder what he'd have to say about this one.
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2017, 01:07:02 am »
Tom...do you live below the dam?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnstown_Flood 

Hope history doesn't repeat itself.



Funny we have money for the high speed rail and none to take care of our dams. Don't get me going on the high speed rail, really goofing us up in the Fresno area.
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Tom

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Re: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2017, 07:48:18 am »
Arch, we're a couple of hours and 135 miles south of Oroville. We're on the San Joaquin river, not the Sacramento. But, the way these rivers are interconnected with sloughs, we'd probably see some rise to our already high waters if something catastrophic happened to the dam.


I feel for the 200K people evacuated from below the dam. Even if they make progress lowering the lake level, there's no telling the outcome of more heavy rains due starting tomorrow. With 5 years of drought, there's been plenty of oportunity to shore up the two spillways of the nation's highest dam. Now, they can't fix the main spillway until summer, and are attempting to shore up the emergency spillway with rocks lowered in bags from a helicopter.
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Tom and Margi

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Re: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2017, 10:12:05 am »
Bob Buchanan posted a brief history of the Shasta, Trinity, Folsom and Oroville Dams on his Facebook page.  The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation built Trinity and Shasta, the Corps of Engineers built Folsom, and the State of California built Oroville.

Arch Hoagland

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Re: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2017, 12:12:01 am »
Just read a news report that says they are letting people return home.  Wonder what the price of houses below the dam is going to do. Think I'd be moving. 
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2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
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Tom

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Re: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2017, 12:18:39 am »
I think it's a dumb move to let folks return, given that we're expecting more storms and heavy rains starting Thursday. They've acknowledged that these rains will raise the lake level again, and changed the 'evacuation order' to an 'evacuation warning'.
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Tom

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Re: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2017, 05:15:36 pm »
Today Chris and I drove around part of the CA Delta, checking out water levels on the Sacramento River, San Joaquin River, and several sloughs. It was close to low tide, but we were surprised and a little alarmed to see the water level approaching the top of levees.
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Tom and Margi

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Re: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2017, 06:14:03 pm »
I've been thinking of you and Chris and wondering if the levees were going to be a problem this year.  We'll think good thoughts and hope they hold and are not breached.  Scary year for California weather all up and down the state.  Hope you stay safe in Disco Bay.

Tom

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Re: Dangerous waters on the CA Delta
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2017, 06:25:22 pm »
Thanks Margi. We appear to be just fine, albeit with high water. Don't know what will happen if there's early snow melt.
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