Red Sky In The Morning

Is a sailor’s warning.

While the Red Dog Estate is located south of and at an elevation to not be impacted by the problems with the Oroville Dam, the Sacramento & San Joaquin Delta system is a complex and aging system of levees. Three rivers, the Sacramento, the American, and the Feather all join together within 15 miles of each other and combine into one river, the Sacramento river, in old town Sacramento. From there the Sacramento river runs south and meets up with the San Joaquin river at Sherman Island in the delta.

The Central Valley is a fertile agricultural area due to being a flood plane long before the first Europeans started to settle on the east coast of what is now the U.S. Most of the cities from Sacramento to the delta along the river range in elevations from around 13 to 40 feet above sea level. Between the Oroville Dam and the confluence of the three rivers, a lot of soil has been deposited in the Feather and Sacramento rivers which in turn decrease the amount of water the rivers can handle due to being controlled by the levee system.

With two storms forcast over the next week to an already saturated watershed, any failure of the Oroville spillway structures will have a cascading effect on the whole levee system from the spillways to Sherman Island. Flooding is a natural part of the water cycle in the Central Valley. The issue for the State of California is that several million people now live near these rivers with levees that date to the gold rush. The authorities have several million reasons to be concerned. 

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