PG&E to increase flows on North Fork this Sunday

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will increase flows on portions of the North Fork Feather River on Sunday, Feb. 28, by releasing more water from the Rock Creek and Cresta dams. Those recreating in or near this part of the river are advised to be aware of the higher flows and to exercise caution.

The higher flows, known as “pulse flows,” are done to mimic higher flows that would normally occur during typical winters and flush out sediment.

PG&E will gradually increase water flows to 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) out of the Rock Creek Dam, holding the higher flows for 12 hours, between 1 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28, and continuing until about 1 p.m. that day before gradually reducing flows to 150 cfs.

PG&E will also increase flows below the Cresta Dam, starting by gradually increasing flows before dawn on Sunday, Feb. 28 and release 1,000 cfs between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. that day before gradually reducing flows that night to 100 cfs.

The two higher flows will be present along 15 miles of river between the Rock Creek Dam and the Cresta Powerhouse along Highway 70 in the Plumas National Forest in western Plumas County. Despite recent wet weather, the higher releases will still be necessary.

PG&E offers the following water safety tips:

Stay out of cold water. Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.

Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water’s surface. Swift water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are strongly recommended.

Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides, sub-surface obstacles, fast moving water, and transitions to full tunnels and pipes. For more water safety tips visit: www.pge.com/hydrosafety

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