There has never been another March 8 quite like the one Folsom Lake is experiencing this year.
The day will carry extra resonance for the lake as it marks a day in history where water levels reached historic highs compared with any level recorded on the same day.
Dating back to 1976 when the California Department of Water Resources began tracking the water storage levels at Folsom Lake, the 697,938 acre-feet of water beat out the previous high of approximately 650,000 acre-feet recorded for March in 1982, according to the DWR.
On average, the lake’s current water is about 124 percent of its historical average for this date, according to the DWR, and about 71 percent of its total capacity.
By June 1982, water levels at the lake exceeded the 977,000 acre-foot capacity, when it was just shy of 1,000,000 acre-feet.
Current rain and the expectation of an increased runoff from Sierra snow prompted Bureau of Reclamation officials to open three of Folsom Dam’s eight floodgates Monday. Two more floodgates were opened Tuesday morning.
The opening of the gates has allowed excess water to run downriver, which in and of itself have caused local river and stream beds water flows to double day to day.
Monday, Folsom Dam Control officials as well as local law enforcement warned those near the flooding waterways to move to higher ground as flows doubled from 4,000 cubic-feet per second to 8,000 cfs. Officials added that those water levels were expected to double again Tuesday to 16,000 cfs.