Water Releases Lowered Following Days of Dangerous American River Levels

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SACRAMENTO -- The Bureau of Reclamation lowered water releases from Folsom reservoir after several days of high-water flows that resulted in several river rescues along the lower American River.

"As of noon we've lowered releases from 36,000 to 30,000 cubic feet per second," said Louis Moore, spokesperson for the federal agency.

Less than a week ago flows were at just 1,200 cubic feet per second. Large inflows from Folsom's 1,800 square mile watershed forced the releases by federal water regulators who have to reserve 40 percent of the space reservoir to protect against sudden surges of water from large storms.

“The additional releases are what prevents us from getting into flood stage, so we’re able to be ahead of any concerns for flooding," Moore said.

While river levels will continue to be high and warnings and closures of public facilities along the American River Parkway are still in effect, there is a chance that flows will be reduced even more as inflow gauges show a reduced amount of water flowing into Folsom.

But Moore says there are no guarantees as monitors check releases and inflows on an hourly basis.