Update: Reclamation Increases Flows in the Lower American River for Flood Control Management of Folsom Reservoir

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100

For Release: December 15, 2010

On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, between 6 and 8 p.m. the Bureau of Reclamation will increase releases from Nimbus Dam into the lower American River from 15,000 to 30,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) for flood control management. Nimbus Dam, located 7 miles downstream of Folsom Dam and Powerplant, is a regulatory dam that forms Lake Natoma. Nimbus Dam's primary purposes are to control flow in the lower American River and produce power. Up to 2,500 cfs of the total release from Nimbus Dam will occur through the Nimbus Powerplant with the remaining release through the Nimbus Dam spillway.

Interactive Thumbnail - Click to see more picturesPeople recreating in or along the lower American River downstream of Nimbus Dam to the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers should take appropriate safety precautions during periods of high river flows. Also note that some sections of the bike trail along the American River and parts of Discovery Park may become inundated as flows increase to 30,000 cfs.

The current storage in Folsom Reservoir is approximately 524,000 acre-feet (pool elevation - 419.5 feet). With a series of winter storms expected during the next 7-10 days, high flows will occur in the river. High releases are expected as storage levels at Folsom Lake continue to encroach into the required flood control reservation space.

Daily information on expected flows in the American River can be found on the California Data Exchange Center website or on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website. For additional operational information, please visit Reclamation's Central Valley Operation Office website.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.