Officials Urge Homeless to Move to Higher Ground as River Levels Continue to Rise

SACRAMENTO -- The American and Sacramento rivers are expected to rise over the next three days.

Hundreds of acres along the shores will flood, causing problems for the countless homeless who live there.

For now, the rising river levels are great for a family of sea lions searching for fish in the waters near Discovery Park. But soon the waters could turn deadly for those living on land.

A Sacramento Sheriff's Department helicopter was flying above the area Tuesday, one of several broadcasting warnings to homeless living along the shores.

"You've got time, know that this is the time to get yourself to a safer area," said Capt. Michelle Eidam, with the Sacramento Metro Fire Dept.

Sacramento Metro Fire put its boats in the water up river near the Nimbus Dam, warning those camping along the shores.

"They may worry, I don't," said Jeffery Williams, one of the dozens of homeless living in Discovery Park.

He said he had to leave the spot he was sleeping because the water is too high.

"You just do what you got to do, you know they go wherever they go," he said.

The Bureau of Reclamation is increasing the amount of water it releases from the Nimbus Dam into the American River, from 1,250 cubic feet per second up to 15,000 by Thursday.

That means most of Discovery Park will be underwater by Friday.

Still, despite the warnings from helicopters saying "it's not safe to be along the river bank, please move to higher ground," some homeless are remaining in their tents.

Williams also said he's staying, at least for now.

"I'm going to sleep under that bridge, so if... We need Christmas money and Christmas love you know," Williams told FOX40.

Sacramento County park rangers, sheriff's deputies and firefighters will continue to warn people along the river Wednesday and through out the week.