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It’s that time of year: Snowmelt has Tuolumne River running high

Snowmelt has Tuolumne River running high through Modesto

The Turlock Irrigation District has been increasing releases to the Tuolumne, which runs though Stanislaus County, including Waterford, Ceres and downtown Modesto.
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The Turlock Irrigation District has been increasing releases to the Tuolumne, which runs though Stanislaus County, including Waterford, Ceres and downtown Modesto.

All that snow that fell in the mountains this winter needs somewhere to go as it melts. And if you have seen the Tuolumne River lately, you have an idea where it’s been heading.

The Turlock Irrigation District has been increasing releases to the Tuolumne, which runs though Stanislaus County, including Waterford, Ceres and downtown Modesto.

Since last week, the district has been releasing more water from Don Pedro Reservoir into the river, getting up to about 7,300 cubic feet per second. Sunday morning, the flow recorded below La Grange Dam was just under 6,800 cfs. That compares to an average of about 1.500 cfs year-round, though this is the time of year that runoff starts to bump up that number.

Because of the water releases, the Tuolumne has been running higher, but is still about 5 feet below flood stage of 55 feet. And the river won’t be going down anytime soon.

“Given the large snowpack, it is likely that TID will keep releases above 6,000 cfs through the first week in July 2019,” the district said in a news release. “These releases are a part of normal, seasonal operations and are not cause for alarm.”

For more information, go to www.tid.org/hydrology.

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