Sacramento River fills backyards along Garden Highway

10:05 PM, Mar 23, 2011   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Residents living along Garden Highway are living on the water's edge, but they don't seem too worried about rising levels on the Sacramento River.

"This is why I live here," John Orosz said. "This is just beautiful to me."

Orosz's home, like many other along Garden Highway, were designed to have river water flow beneath them.

The homes have to be built at a certain elevation. Orosz's home stands at 32 feet. The river surrounding his home was at 25 feet.

The 16 year Garden Highway resident said the river would have to rise another 7 feet to even dampen the inside of his floors, but he is insured in case of the worse.

"They give you a policy based on your elevation," Orosz said. "You show your elevation certificate and we're at a different rating than the homes over there because we're above the 100 year flood protection."

The last time residents saw levels this high was in 2006. Recent rains and releases from Shasta Dam have caused the river to rise to between 25 to 26 feet.

Orosz lives just across from the Sacramento Weir. The water is about 2 feet from the top of the gates and is seeping through the planks on the other side.

He wondered why the gates weren't opened to offer relief on the levees.

According to Department of Water Resource spokesman John Ericson, the weir gates can't be opened until the Sacramento River reaches 27 feet.

"There are many engineering principals behind why that level is important including flushing the sediments in the channel and a few other reasons that are associated with just the engineering design of that structure," Ericson said.

The water from the Sacramento Weir was designed to flow into the Yolo Bypass.

Department of Water Resource officials expect river levels to stabilize between 25 and 26 feet, but they will keep an eye on the upcoming storms.

News10/ KXTV

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