With rivers running fast and frigid, public urged to use caution – News – recordnet.com – California News

With rivers running fast and frigid, public urged to use caution – News – recordnet.com – California News

That hefty snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is about to start melting more rapidly, setting the stage for spectacular scenery at Yosemite National Park but also raising concerns about public safety from the mountains to the Delta.

After getting off to a slow start over the course of this cool spring, the peak of the snowmelt could come in the next week, state officials project. Meanwhile, the warmest temperatures of the season so far are expected in the coming days, perhaps enticing more people into the water.

Think long and hard about it first.

“It’s cold, and it’s fast, and it can take you under in a second,” said Sgt. Jose Aleman, who leads the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit, which will ramp up to summertime staffing this weekend across the county’s hundreds of miles of waterways.

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The conditions that outdoor enthusiasts will find in the weeks to come will depend a great deal on where they go. The snowmelt-fed rivers will be most dramatic above the foothill dams, where flows into the reservoirs could double in volume.

Below the dams it’s a bit more complicated. Some rivers like the Mokelumne are still running almost as high as they were during the peak of the flood in February. The Calaveras River, on the other hand, is now a relative trickle.

The Stanislaus River, which…

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