January 6, 2017 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is cautioning those going near the South Yuba River to be aware of higher and changing flows with the coming rains. After years of drought conditions, flows like these have not occurred in several years.
PG&E’s Lake Spaulding in Nevada County is expected fill and the dam could begin spilling as soon as Saturday afternoon as runoff fills the reservoir.
When the dam spills, flows on the South Yuba River could increase several fold and will be well above the normal seasonal flows for this time of year. Fortunately, the river can accommodate much higher flows like those that occur during the wettest months of winter.
PG&E recommends those going near rivers and streams to be aware of the higher flows and take precautions. At PG&E the safety of the public and our employees is our top priority.
The dam could spill for several days, depending on rains.
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Flows would be higher along about 40 miles of the South Yuba River between Lake Spaulding in Nevada County and Englebright Lake in Yuba County.
It’s not unusual for PG&E ‘s reservoirs to fill in normal winters as they tend to be smaller and at much higher elevations than the state and federal multi-year water storage reservoirs like Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville. PG&E’s reservoirs are designed to capture rain and snow melt runoff in winter, spring and early summer to generate clean, renewable hydroelectric power.