FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Officials with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) are closely monitoring Tulare County’s Schafer Dam and Lake Success to ensure water levels stay under control.
USACE authorities said with Lake Success already exceeding its gross pool capacity of 84,095 acre-feet and more rain on the way, releases from both the Schafer Dam outlet works and the Tule River Spillway are expected to increase over the next 48 hours.
Officials say the Schafer Dam is not currently at risk of being damaged or overtopping as, even at capacity, lake levels are well below the top of the dam. But USACE teams are monitoring the dam and spillway around the clock and are coordinating with state and local partners to update locals on how much water might have to be released.
The release level as of Monday was approximately 6,000 cubic feet of water per second – and is expected to increase to 12,500 cubic feet per second by Wednesday evening. Forecasted rain and increasing water releases may cause localized flooding downstream of Schafer Dam, officials warn.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers add that a project to increase the capacity of Lake Success by 28,000 acre-feet is currently under construction. Construction equipment has been removed from the area and the spillway can function as designed – even though modifications are not complete.