Don Pedro Flows Again

Karly Halsey (12th), Reporter

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After all of these years of praying for rain and water, our wishes have quickly turned into one of those “be careful what you wish for” moments.

The past five years or so with no water has now turned into a new problem itself, having too much at once.

Because of this excess of rain and snowmelt, many rivers and lakes were completely overwhelmed with water. One of which was lake Don Pedro, which was about 8 inches from maximum capacity. It was then too risky to keep the lake at this level due to the high chance of more storms and an abundance of snowmelt. This had forced TID to open one of the three the spillway gates just before the lake would hit its maximum capacity (830 feet) of the reservoir.

The spillway was opened on February 20, at approximately 5 PM and will stay open for around 4 days following.

Nearby residents were strongly urged to put together their belongings in case of an evacuation.

“Landowners, growers and those living along the Tuolumne River, out of an abundance of caution, should undertake necessary steps to protect their property and livestock as Tuolumne River levels will rise quickly,” the agency stated in an 11 p.m. press statement, which can be found here:
http://www.modbee.com/news/article133793724.html#storylink=cpy

The water from the spillway will flow into the Tuolumne river which will run into part of stanislaus county and Modesto county.

Unfortunately for the town directly below and part of Modesto, they have already evacuated for safety and flooding reasons.

The last time this occurred was in 1997. There was a huge snowstorm followed by a warm rain, which melted all of the snow, raising the lake at an alarming rate. They dreadfully opened all three gates for the first time in terror.

Despite all being open and letting out insane amounts of water, the levels continued to rise 16 inches above the top and proceeded to wash out the road along with anything in its path.

Since then, the lake levels have only gone down.

For those who constantly go to Don Pedro, last year was very peculiar as the lake had gotten to the lowest point it had in years. It was about 100 feet above the old dam, which seems like no water, but really was still quite a bit.

This year however has showed a remarkable change, and it is highly urged that everyone in the area stay aware of what it going on.

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