Forecasts for a dry near-term future come as Merced County reservoirs approach capacity.
The San Luis Reservoir near Los Banos is 97 percent full and the east side’s Lake McClure reached 91 percent as of Monday, according to the state Department of Water Resources. Each total is beyond the respective reservoir’s historic average.
The sky will be mostly sunny with light breezes through the weekend, according to Cindy Bean, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford. “We have no rain in the forecast,” she said Monday.
Water flowing through the Merced, San Joaquin and Tuolumne rivers continues to be monitored by water agencies. Bean said those three rivers converge in the Stevinson area, so flood advisories remain in place.
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97Percent of capacity measured at San Luis Reservoir
“They’re trying to manage it so they aren’t flooding but running very high,” she said.
The Lake McClure reservoir is releasing about 7,600 cubic feet per second, according to the state. The release falls in line with the guidance of the Army Corps of Engineers, Merced Irrigation District spokesman Mike Jensen said last week. He could not be reached for comment Monday.
Part of the water flowing out goes to the Merced River and part to where MID generates electricity.
A week after it opened, the spillway gate at Don Pedro Reservoir was fully closed just before 5 a.m. Monday, the Turlock Irrigation District reported. Based on the weather forecast of sunny days ahead, the district began the closure overnight, spokesman Brandon McMillan said.
91Percent of capacity measured at Lake McClure
TID’s goal remains to get Don Pedro down to 815 feet, and then down to 801.9 feet, which is the preferred flood-control level, based on the flood-control manual for the reservoir, McMillan said.
“It all depends on the forecast,” he said. “As things turn dry, it makes it easier.”
Also, more than 2 million acre-feet of snowpack remains, he said, and warm weather that begins to melt it also would determine the course of action by TID and the Army Corps of Engineers, which coordinates reservoir releases around the Central Valley.
The troubled Oroville Reservoir stopped releasing water Monday, water officials reported. The break in rainy weather should allow crews to clear debris from the waterway, officials said.
The Modesto Bee contributed to this report.