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DWR To Open Sacramento Weir.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced it plans to open the Sacramento Weir about 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 31. News coverage is invited. A DWR flood management official, Art Hinojosa, will be on hand at the West Sacramento viewing point during the weir opening to provide commentary and perspective.

The weir is located on Old River Road along the west levee (right bank) of the Sacramento River. From Interstate 80 take the Reed Avenue exit eastbound, then turn left on Harbor Boulevard, which becomes Old River Road. The weir is about one mile upriver (generally north) from that point. Limited parking is available at the south levee turnout.

The Sacramento Weir is a key structure protecting the City of Sacramento during high flows on the Sacramento River, diverting flows through the Sacramento Bypass into the Yolo Bypass for safe passage to the Delta.

The Sacramento Weir is a manually operated flood control structure -- 1,920 feet long -- in the west levee of the Sacramento River, about four miles upstream (north) of Sacramento's Tower Bridge and about two miles north of the American River's confluence with the Sacramento River.

Under U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rules, the weir is opened after the Sacramento River hits the 27.5 foot stage at Sacramento's I Street Bridge with a forecast to continue rising. The weir consists of 48 gates which are removed manually to allow water to spill from the Sacramento River down the mile-long Sacramento Bypass in West Sacramento into the larger Yolo Bypass.

Four other weirs north of Sacramento already are easing flow pressures on the Sacramento and Feather Rivers. They are "passive" weirs with a fixed crest elevation, allowing floodwaters to flow from river channels into safe, designated flood channels. Weirs and bypasses function as safety valves in the Sacramento River flood control system.

The Yolo Bypass is a broad natural drainage channel used in wet years to safely conduct large volumes of excess water to the Delta. The bypass reduces river flow levels and potential stress to river levees as the water flows toward the Delta and San Francisco Bay en route to the Pacific Ocean.

The Sacramento Weir was last opened during the February 1998 flood event. It was also operated during the January 1997, March 1995, and February 1986 floods.

The Department of Water Resources operates and maintains the State Water Project, provides dam safety and flood control and inspection services, assists local water districts in water management and water conservation planning, and plans for future statewide water needs.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 30, 2005
Words:429
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