Drowning Accident Rescue Team on ‘High Alert’ Ahead of Storm

SACRAMENTO -- Water was rushing out of Nimbus Dam into the lower American River at a rate of 15,000 cubic feet per second Tuesday, more than quadruple what it was a week ago.

The Bureau of Reclamation has been increasing the flow incrementally to make room for runoff into the Folsom Lake. On Wednesday, it will increase even more.

People, like David Wilding, who use the American River Parkway for recreation were noticing the dramatic rise.

"The water flow has gone up in just the past couple days tremendously," Wilding said.

"That'll result in additional water rescue calls for us generally along with our other agencies," said Cole Glenwright.

FOX40 met Glenwright with the Drowning Accident Rescue Team, or DART, at a Tuesday night training.

"We are the only emergency dive rescue team in the county," Glenwright told FOX40. "So the folks you see training behind me are the folks that'll respond if a 911 call comes in for a water rescue."

Glenwright, DART's Treasurer, said it's already been a busy winter for the divers.  They're all geared up for what promises to be a strong storm Wednesday.

"So all of our rescue personnel are carrying their gear in their cars with them. They're on high alert," he said.

During the training at the Laurel Ruff Pool in Sacramento, they were practicing a scenario where a diver needs to change oxygen tanks underwater.

They train to be ready for any underwater scenario and teach everyone how to avoid getting into a situation where someone may need their services.

"Make sure you're driving slow," Glenwright said. "Never drive through standing water. You don't know how deep it is and even a shallow amount of water can prove incredibly hazardous."

"But in general, if you don't have a need to be along the rivers during this major storm event, we'd encourage you not to be."

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