Levee Patrols Check California’s Flood Channel System

Storms have flood control experts on levee patrol


Another storm is expected in Los Angeles Wednesday, and its impact on California's flood channel system is a major concern.

Snow levels in the Sierra Nevadas reached 140 percent of normal because of the early spring storms.

"We've seen the water elevated in almost every region," said John Ericson, who heads flood control for the California Department of Water Resources.

The department conducted major releases from its largest reservoirs during the break between storms. The reservoirs were near capacity.

That means increased water volume downstream. Most of the water ends up in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which provides Southern Califonia with nearly half of its water.

The banks of the channel are in need of repair.

"That water stays against the levees sides," Ericson said. "They become saturated. So, there's always concern that the longer that water stays high, there can be flood issues. We have levee patrols going on throughout the state."

The storm was expected to reach Los Angeles  valleys and mountains Wednesday bringing rain and snow through Friday morning,  according to a preliminary hazardous weather outlook. The National Weather Service said this storm will not be as strong as  the previous weekend thunderstorm with rainfall reaching between one half and  one inch in coastal and valley areas.

The Los Angeles area, including the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica  Mountains, Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley and Orange Coastal areas may  see south winds reaching up to 15 mph by afternoon.

Snow may create hazards for people traveling through Los Angeles County  mountains, accumulating 1 to 3 inches during the day and reaching 4 to 8 inches  tonight. South winds may reach 10 to 20 mph and increase to 20 to 30 mph with  gusts up to 45 mph in the afternoon.

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