Gates Reopen at Sacramento Weir

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YOLO COUNTY -- Workers opened up several flood gates at the Sacramento Weir in preparation for the upcoming storms.

Bryan Burch, a southern California native, admits he is not a big fan of the rain.

"No, I'm definitely not getting used to this. I'm not going to get used to the beaches being so far either," Burch said.

But he said he could not miss an opportunity to take photos of the Sacramento River water gushing through the Sacramento Weir and into the Yolo Bypass.

"You grow up hearing about Hoover Dam, but you never really hear about a weir. So now, living in Northern California, you see these types of things, it's something new and different," Burch said.

He said he will send the photos to his mother, who is a fifth-grade teacher down south.

"She's so funny, she's been sending me news articles. And she's like 'Have you heard of this? How close are you to this?' So I said 'Oh, I'll go grab you some photos!'" Burch laughed.

The Department of Water Resources checks the gauges at the I Street Bridge. If the water level is higher than 29.87 feet, that is when they open up the flood gates. This is the second wave of flood gates to open at the Weir this year.

In January, the Department of Water Resources opened the gates for the first time since 2006.
Then, they opened 35 out of the 48 gates. Now, in preparation of the storms, they opened up at least 25 Thursday morning.

"This alleviates a lot of pressure on the main channel. You can see the houses that are affected, with the high flood warnings. By popping these gates over here, it allows for the water to flow into the Causeway," Officer Doug Arlin of CHP Woodland said.

Burch said it is great to be able to share a rare sight, even in Northern California.

"As an educator, you always want to learn more, so she's passing that along to her students," Burch said.

The Department of Water Resouces, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, and the National Weather Service will keep a close eye on upcoming weather systems to see if they need to open up more gates in the near future.