USACE monitoring Isabella Dam and Lake during heavy rains

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento Districts
Published March 10, 2023
Updated: March 10, 2023

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District is closely monitoring Isabella Dam and Lake in connection with the ongoing severe weather event.

Current projections of snowmelt volume as a result of these storms are well within the capacity of Isabella Lake. We estimate that reservoir volume at the conclusion of this event will be between 230,000 and 270,000 acre-feet. The overall capacity of Isabella Lake is 568,000 acre-feet. We are coordinating with our state and local partners to update our projections multiple times a day.

If current projections hold, we will not need to use either the service or emergency spillways. We plan to use the outlet works located below the crest of the main dam for any increased outflows, which will be coordinated in advance with downstream water users.

In the unlikely event of a spillway release, both the emergency and service spillways are fully functional and ready to release water as safely and manageably as possible.

We encourage all local residents to heed evacuation warnings from local authorities. This will not only help ensure your safety but also prevent unnecessary expenditure of emergency resources during this critical time. For ongoing emergency information, please visit Kern County Emergency Services ( and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (


Jeremy Croft

Release no. 23-012