California Park Preps for Possible Flooding

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March 24, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Campsites at the Woodson Bridge RV park with the Sacramento River in background.

A flood warning continued for the Tehama Bridge area in Los Molinos, Calif., Wednesday (March 23), and trailer residents at Woodson Bridge RV Park in Corning were heading to higher ground as the Sacramento River continued to swell with the onslaught of spring rains and releases from Shasta, the Corning Observer reported.

Minor flooding in the area of the Tehama Bridge was reported, and a number of roads around Corning were closed due to high waters from nearby creeks.

About 30 of the 50 trailers at Woodson Bridge have been moved, said Gini Whitney, who manages the park along the Sacramento River at Vina-Woodson Bridge with her husband, George.

“Our trailers would be OK on the high end of our park, even if the river reached 189 feet,” said Whitney. “Most of them have moved back in, and only one couple left the park because of their need to be near a medical facility.”

Flood stage is 183 feet.

When the river reaches the 180 foot stage, the Whitneys monitor the river constantly, taking turns during the night so they can stay in touch with the state Department of Water Resources California Data Exchange updates.

According to Whitney, a lot of lessons were learned during the 2005 flood that she said no one would ever forget.

“If this had been 2005, we probably would have flooded again, but there has been a 180-degree turnaround since that time in flood management,” said Whitney.

She attributed the main difference in how and when water is released from Keswick Dam at Shasta.

Whitney also said they have evacuation plans, and about 50 people came to their impromptu meeting to get ready in the event the park flooded.

Whitney said not only these preparations, but the readiness that Red Cross showed by jumping right in and setting up an evacuation place during the heavy winds and rains over the weekend, had a very calming affect on the park, especially for their elderly residents.

“Volunteer Ronald Coates with the American Red Cross had cots, snacks, water and blankets all ready for us at the Veterans Memorial Hall,” Whitney said. “No words can express the peace of mind that gave so many of our people here just knowing they had a place to go if something had happened.”

Whitney said two people actually joined the Red Cross as volunteers because of the service provided for them.

She also said they appreciated all the other community volunteers that helped them out and the Tehama County Sheriff's Department for letting Red Cross representatives come into the park.

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