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Rapid Snowmelt Not A Danger Yet

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, February 28, 2011

State water officials say they aren't too worried about a warm spring leading to a rush of snowmelt. But the state Department of Water Resources' Chief Hydrologist Maury Roos says there is another threat…

"The worst thing that could happen would be one of what we call these rain-on-snow storms sweeping in from the warmer parts of the Pacific - sometimes called the "Pineapple Connection..."

…or "Pineapple Express". That's what happened on New Year's Day 1997 when a series of tropical storms led to flooding in Sacramento.

But Roos says local levees should be able to handle a potential rush of snowmelt.

"There's been a lot of work going into levee maintenance and improvement in the past 10-15 years. So I really think that overall they're in better shape than they were for the last big flood."

Roos says the department will be working closely with reservoir operators who can then adjust amounts of water storage if need be.

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