Water flows over Friant Dam
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The water gushing out of the Friant Dam ends up at Lost Lake Park which has seen its recreation areas looking like ponds. And the strong current and cold water has local rescue crews urging caution. But those we spoke with say they aren't concerned about it.
For the first time since 2006, the Bureau of Reclamation is releasing water over the spillway and officials say the dam is essentially overflowing.
"We're full at Friant. Got about 520k acre feet, which is capacity of the reservoir there. We've just increased the releases slightly today so we're going to 5k cubic ft per second as of 2 O'clock." said Michael Jackson.
The water is coming from Millerton Lake which has risen a few feet in just one day. A worker who rents out boats and inner tubes says water is already covering a couple of parking spots near his trailer. Frequent visitors like Robert Phillips are also taking notice.
"They were considerably higher from when the last time I was here. I monitor them everyday in the paper you know. I knew it was up." said Phillips.
A few miles down the road, more than a third of Lost Lake Park looks more like a swamp with water surrounding picnic tables and BBQ grills. The water is considerably higher in the lower level areas of the park but Lue Yang and his friends don't seem to mind.
"Not at all. I mean we're aware of the danger of the, what the water can do but we're. It doesn't bother us at all. It doesn't bother us. We're here to cool off." said Yang.
Fresno County sheriff deputies however are urging caution near the river. In fact they're telling people to stay only in the shallow ends of the water because the current is moving so fast and the water is freezing cold. That's because the area has already seen its fair share of river rescues including the one last month where four floaters got tangled in some tree branches in the water. And they did not have life jackets or paddles with them.
Kings River Water Association officials say Pine Flat Lake is at about 99% of capacity. Government officials also released more water out of the dam.
lost lake, friant, millerton lake, local, tommy tran
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