Recent stormy weather has brought many creeks and streams back to life in Sacramento County. We certainly need the water, but the amount has caused some local waterways to fill up quickly, and in some cases spill over their banks.
The storms remind us that rainfall doesn’t need to last for weeks to cause trouble for some locations. Intense rain in a short period can fill some creeks and streams in a matter of hours.
For residents living in flood-prone areas, keeping an eye on water levels is very important. For example, during the storm on December 15, seven different waterways approached flood stage, with Arcade Creek (Winding Way east of College Oak Drive) actually flowing over its banks at 8 p.m.
Using sandbags and taking all the right precautions helps, but being prepared also means keeping an eye on how high the water is rising.
You can stay alert to rising water levels during storms with help from Sacramento County’s ALERT (Automated Local Evaluation in Real Time) System. ALERT monitors water levels in area creeks and streams and lets you watch the water levels as the rain falls, giving you enough time to know if there might be flooding. Installed in 1985, the ALERT system provides real-time, around the clock information about water levels, and rain totals.
The ALERT System website (www.sacflood.org) was brought online in 1997 and offers a dashboard view of critical information from sensors placed along the waterways. Through the website, it lets you watch all of the waterways or pick a designated area and also offers a tutorial to help make the website’s program easy to use.
Visit SacFlood.org and bookmark it to view the latest information about your favorite creek or stream and stay ALERTed to Sacramento County’s creeks and streams when the rain begins to fall again.