Flows will increase on the American River tonight in order to provide more flood-control space during another weekend of wet storms.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will boost water releases from Folsom and Nimbus dams between 6 and 8 p.m. Friday evening. The flow will climb from 7,000 cubic feet per second to 10,000 cfs.
The increase is enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool about every 30 seconds, and will cause water levels in the American River to rise about 18 inches. People traveling or recreating along the river are urged to use caution and watch for rising water and cold, fast flows.
Folsom Reservoir is the primary means of storing storm runoff on the American River to protect Sacramento from flooding. The additional releases are required to maintain the reservoir at about 59 percent full, the target at this time of year to ensure room for storm runoff.
The National Weather Service predicts the Sacramento Valley could see as much as 3 inches of rain through Sunday, with as much as 5 inches falling in the Sierra foothills that include the American River watershed.