SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With heavy rainfall forecast for Northern California in the coming days, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District will begin making a flood release from Black Butte Dam near Orland today at approximately 7 a.m.
Black Butte is the only Army Corps reservoir in California currently expected to make a flood control release. Precipitation in the area of the dam is forecasted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to be especially heavy during the storm, with the volume of water in the reservoir expected to more than double today alone. With forecasters tracking another possible storm behind the first, Corps water managers need to ensure there is enough room in the reservoir to safely contain the high expected inflow.
"Water is precious right now, we fully appreciate that,” said Christy Jones, lead water manager for the Sacramento District. “This release is absolutely necessary for public safety, but we are working closely with the Bureau of Reclamation and local partners to conserve as much water as we possibly can while doing the right thing for the safety of everyone downstream.”
A final release amount will be determined shortly before the release is made, but is not expected to cause flooding downstream. The Corps will continue to monitor forecasts and inflow into the reservoir and coordinate release decisions with partner agencies.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District provides planning, engineering, project management, environmental restoration and construction services to military and civilian customers in parts of eight western states, including California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming.
Release no. 14-084