Don Pedro spillway to open this afternoon


(Updated at 1:30 p.m. with information from 1 p.m. press conference).

TURLOCK — Turlock Irrigation District will open the spillway at Don Pedro Reservoir this afternoon.

The spillway gates will likely open at 3 p.m. and stay open four days, TID said during a 1 p.m. press conference.

After the spillway is opened, it will take about 23 hours for water to reach the 9th Street gate in Modesto.

Heavy rain has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning for the Tuolumne River in Modesto.

According to the weather service, the river was 54.86 feet at 9:30 a.m. Flood stage for the Tuolumne River is 55 feet. The river is expected to reach that stage at 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Members of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and Modesto Police Department were going door to door in the area to warn residents and businesses.

The Tuolumne flows into the San Joaquin River, so there will also be higher stages on that river near Vernalis and other locations downstream.

The last time the spillway was opened was in 1997 when water in the Tuolumne River reached 71 feet above sea level. TID officials said this flood event would not be as dramatic. The water is expected to reach 60-65 feet.

Sandbags are now available at the following locations –
• City of Modesto – 501 N. Jefferson Street, Modesto (next to City Corp Yard at Washington and Elm)
• Patterson Corp Yard – 16215 Baldwin, Patterson
• Oakdale Fire Station – 325 E. G Street, Oakdale
• Stanislaus County Corp Yard – 1716 Morgan Road, Modesto

TID and Modesto Irrigation District also began de-energizing power lines along the Tuolumne River channel from La Grange to the confluence of the Tuolumne and San Joaquin Rivers. That will affect about 1,000 meters in the area.

Updated information will be available at a press conference at 4 p.m., Tuesday.

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