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Flooding, rescues, levee work, flow increases and emergency declarations

This rundown of local stories covers concerns about water and flood conditions in the North State.

Posted: Mar 1, 2019 3:53 PM
Updated: Mar 2, 2019 9:02 AM

NORTH STATE, Calif. - Here is a round-up of stories from Friday's noon newscast with anchor Linda Watkins-Bennett concerning local flooding, rescues, reactions and concerns. Includes levee work by the California Conservation Corps at Keefer Slough in Butte County, increases in water releases from Keswick Dam into the Sacramento River, a talk with a North State farmer/consultant, and information on weather/flooding-related emergency declaration.s

FLOODING RESCUE

CAL FIRE Butte County made another successful rescue on Thursday night.

A motorist who drove around road closure signs got stranded in high water.

This time it happened on Ord Ferry Road, which was the same area where a semi truck got swept away last week.

This time the person got out of their car and was waiting in a tree until the Swift Water Rescue Team arrived, rescuing them in a boat.

There is no word yet on whether the person who had to be rescued was cited.

Thursday night we reported there had been 17 similar rescues over the past two weeks.

CCC WORKS TO SHORE UP KEEFER SLOUGH

Crews with the the California Conservation Corps were working Friday to shore up Keefer Slough in north Chico.

There has been significant flooding along the slough during the past two storms, with water flowing into the Autumn Creek Subdivision.

They will be working all day until they get all of the lower parts of the slough covered.

BIG INCREASE IN RELEASES AT KESWICK DAM

Releases out of Keswick Dam and into the Sacramento River have more than tripled. and there could be more increases ahead.

The Bureau of Reclamation plans to increase releases to 35,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the weekend and possibly up to 55,000 cfs.

FLOODING IMPACT ON LOCAL ORCHARDS

While the rain has let up for now, we are still seeing a lot of standing water, especially in area orchards.

Local longtime farmer and consultant Steve Gruenwald says this weather is par for the course, but says the standing water does take a toll on the trees.

"When we have this much rain the water just can't get out of fields fast enough, and so we have this kind of saturated soil conditions," he said.

"When we have standing water on orchards like this it takes the available oxygen out of the soil, so the roots get water logged," he added.

He says the almond trees are in bloom already, which is typical for this time of year.

Another frost could kill some of those blooms, he said.

Gruenwald described the current situation as something farmers just have to deal with in the North State.

WEATHER-RELATED EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS

Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in five more counties due to all the storms and floods. The order now includes Glenn, Amador, Lake, Mendocino, and Sonoma Counties.

Butte, Tehama and Shasta were covered in an earlier declaration.

These declarations allows the state to request federal relief funds to help impacted counties with repairs.

Butte County's Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) has issued a local emergency proclamation because of the storm damage to roads and other storm-related problems.

County supervisors are expected meet to ratify the action during a special meeting.

The date of this upcoming special meeting has not been announced yet.

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