Flooding Concerns on the Rise as Rain Continues to Fall on the Valley

FAIR OAKS -- The Bureau of Reclamation has nearly tripled releases from Monday and by Tuesday water was rushing out of Nimbus Dam.

Living on the streets is never easy but when rain drenches Sacramento being homeless gets even harder.

"Just like you would anywhere else, just try to stay out of it as much as possible," said Jon Phelan, who is homeless.

Phelan was forced to move his tent to higher ground as the American River continued to rise.

Overnight, water levels went up 4 feet and park rangers were warning of potential flooding.

"They came by and just said, they are like, 'This is going to flood, please move to higher ground,'" Phelan told FOX40.

The increase in water levels mostly came from the dam, which flows into the American River.

"We are constantly monitoring the weather and reservoir levels because if we don’t we run the risk of possibly overtopping the dam or putting other peoples lives and property at risk downstream," said Bureau of Reclamation spokesman Todd Plain.

Water rushed out at 25,000 cubic feet per second to make room for rain still pounding the valley.

"The best way to stay safe is to keep away from the water," Plain said. "To listen to local authorities on announcements of when we are going to be making releases and to follow their instructions, which is to safely get out of the way."

For now, Phelan is staying put near the riverbank but he says he’s prepared to move his tent even farther up if necessary.

"It’s tougher but you get by," he said.

Several parks were closed in the meantime because of the flooding risk. Officials are asking people to stay away from rivers right now if they can.

People in Rio Linda Brace for Flooding

Tuesday afternoon, Rio Linda Boulevard at Dry Creek was flooded after more than 24 hours of nonstop rain.

A Sacramento County sheriff's deputy was seen fighting an upstream battle. One patrol car was not enough to stop traffic coming from both directions. Many people drove right past the flashing lights, through the swift and rising water.

Eventually, another deputy and public works crews arrived, setting up roadblocks at both ends of the flood.

Nearby, Darrell Sandridge was laying down hoses, trying to prevent flood waters from reaching his home.

"Yeah, I'm a contractor, so I keep it out of the house but it gets pretty close underneath the house and we've got to pump it out," he said. "I installed a pump just to kind of pump the water off my property back over the levee."

He's optimistic the pump is going to keep the water out of his home.

"Yeah, I don't know about my neighbors though, they're older. So yeah, it just goes toward their house," Sandridge said.

Water was going toward many homes in Rio Linda.

Near Elkhorn Boulevard and Dry Creek, Cherry Lane was flooded.

On the other side of Elkhorn Boulevard, Roy Hayer Park was underwater. A river was running through the adjacent bike and jogging trail and homes bordering the park were surrounded by sandbags.

The sandbag station on Second Street became a town gathering place.

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