Drought ends in the Northstate, Shasta Dam opens spillways

SHASTA LAKE, Calif. - With recent rain and snow storms, the drought has been declared over for all of Northern California, that is according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Shasta Dam, for the first time in six years, opened its spillways to release water from Shasta Lake on Thursday.  Shasta’s Dam is releasing up to 36,000 cubic feet per second. Half of that comes through five of the 18 river outlet valves that are open on the spillway and about another half through all five turbines that generate power.  "Right now we'll be managing the inflows, which are too much for us at this point in time. We have to make sure we keep space in the reservoir so what we're doing is trying to evacuate enough water to make sure we've got enough room for the upcoming storms," said Don Bader, an Area manager for the Bureau of Reclamation.  Randall Hayes was taking pictures of the iconic three Shastas: The dam, lake and mountain. He was enjoying a view from the overlook. When asked about what he thinks of the view he said that he liked it.


"I like it. I mean it's nice to see. The thing I don't like is I know I'm still going to hear the people saying we're in a drought, but I think the drought's over." said Hayes. The public is able to take the dam tour which allows you to get the spillway experience. The river valves should be open for at least a couple of weeks for public safety reasons. If the lake gets more expected rain and snow there's no place for it to go.  "Right now you know everything is so saturated. Most of what's coming down is going right into the reservoir. Early in the year, we'll get rainfall events and we'll get very little runoff into the reservoir because everything's going into the ground." said Bader.

The bureau of reclamation is constantly monitoring river levels so if they get too much rain in the upcoming stories they'll cut back the release.

Thank you Ron