Lake Oroville levels still on the rise after heavy rainfall

Mar 15, 2016 4:58 PM by News Staff

Much of the rainwater from storms over the last several days made its way into Lake Oroville.

Action News Now chief photographer Rick Carhart visited the lake and shows us how much work is involved when lake levels rise.

"We have thousands of feet of cable to remove, utility lines, when the lake's coming up like this we're working 16 hours a day," said Bill Harper, who runs Lake Oroville’s Bidwell Canyon Marin. Harper said it’s a problem he’s happy to deal with. “Just gotta make sure our winches are loose so we don't start breaking docks and pulling anchors off the bottom and sliding around."

Harper said his employees have been working hard for the past week because the water has risen as much as 8 inches an hour and around 50 feet in the last 8 days.

"We've been hoping for a good winter and it's been interesting that we got it all in one week spans, it makes it interesting for us and the outcome is going to be really cool."

Robert Dow comes to the lake a couple times a week and he said the difference is clear.

"It goes up a lot, 10-15 feet every time I come out it seems like."

Dow said he is happy to take the good with the bad.

"I hate the walk up the launch but I love the water, it's beautiful up here," Dow said.

Jeff Hunt owns a houseboat at the marina and he agrees the reward is worth the effort.

"You can't help but do repairs with a smile on your face, having all this water," he said.

The lake is at 826 feet elevation and that's up more than 25 feet since Friday and the level is 97 percent of average for this time of year and still rising.

"I come out here about every day to check on it,” Hunt said. “It's amazing how fast it's coming up from where we came from."

Which means for the first time in a few years there will be plenty of water all summer long.

"We've been looking forward to this for four years, we finally have it, and it’s going to be a great summer," Harper said.

Hunt said he can’t wait for all the people to come out to the marina and enjoy the beautiful weather and all the water.

"All the people coming out, the marina being able to open up more activities, it's a wonderful thing."

“It’s lovely, look at it dude, how can you not love that right?"


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