Cal OES Closely Monitors Rain Fall, Water Levels

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SACRAMENTO -- As the rain fell over the weekend and the water levels rose, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services watched closely.

"This weekend was sort of a trial run for us. It wasn't as mad as we expected," said Kelly Huston, deputy director of Cal OES said.

From their headquarters in Sacramento County, hundreds of staffers with the state agency oversee and coordinate emergency response.

"If we need to set up evacuation centers, if we need to send swift water rescue crews out, all of that coordination is being done 24 hours here in the state operation center," Huston said.

They had their eye on the Sacramento Weir. We met bird watcher Kerry Robertson taking photos at the weir. He said he is happy to see the birds get a much-needed water replenishment in the Yolo Bypass.

"They'll just move around to different areas. Mostly they're all water birds anyway, so they'll love it," Robertson said.

But for Cal OES, what they don't want is a repeat of the 1997 floods that washed away homes and roads in Northern California.

State agencies said the best way to avoid disaster is to be proactive in prevention.

"Old Sac is a great example of the perils of flooding in the past. So these levees have been built up, these weirs have been put into place, these areas that can give relief to the river and allow the water to go around the Yolo Bypass, to avoid flooding in areas like Sacramento, West Sacramento, Yolo County, and others downstream," Huston said.