Stanislaus County: Flood Risk
Last spring CBS 10 News wrote an article, ‘Stanislaus County: What every person should know about flood risk’, and the article gave warning that everyone should educate themselves about flood risk despite the amount of rain and snowmelt needed to create a large flood impact. Floods have occurred in the recent past because of weather in the Manteca and Modesto areas, and household mishaps happen on top of bad weather concerns. Flood risk is a big priority in the Manteca and Modesto area for these reasons.
What rivers pose a flood risk in Stanislaus County:
At risk in the Modesto area is the downtown area and the low-lying trailer parks along the Tuolumne River. Dry Creek can be an issue because of unregulated flows. This stream is observed carefully. Dry Creek and the Don Pedro River releases make up most of the flow below 9th street in Modesto and pose a risk in this location.
The San Joaquin River poses more issues because it is harder to predict flood risk as it has multiple rivers flowing into it. To name one, the Merced River causes some concern when flows are at or above flood stage. The major concern is the lower-lying trailer parks western of Stanislaus County.
Extensive flooding hit the area back in 1997 as Don Pedro Dam filled up and had uncontrolled releases. These releases mixed with Dry creek’s uncontrolled flows overwhelmed the levees and massive flooding occurred. Flooding even protruded out to Modesto’s urban areas.
As horrible as the floods were in 1997, the last set of flood damages reported occurred just a few years ago in 2017. Don Pedro River’s spillways opened for the first time in 20 years. Mostly affected were the lower residential regions, like the trailer parks in the area.
Be Prepared for Flooding:
- Register your home, work, and children’s school addresses for alerts with StanAware
- Have a safety kit ready: water, batteries, flashlights, fuel, important documents, etc
- Have an evacuation route planned
A flood being likely or not, it is important to stay alert regarding flood risk in the area and to understand flooding is not only caused by heavy rains. Household accidents can cause flooding as well. Be alert and be safe.