Extensive rain brings flooding to Manteca area, problems throughout California

February 24, 2017 2:21 pm
Photo by Mikael Honzell

On Manthey Road in Lathrop, water begins to rise and surpass surrounding tree trunks, due to recent rainstorms. Photo by Mikael Honzell

A cluster of storms throughout the region since the beginning of the year has overwhelmed a drought-hardened California.

The result is extensive damage to the state’s water management infrastructure, overflowing rivers and saturated local levees.

On Feb. 20, a levee near Manteca breached with evacuation orders being issued for an area south of Highway 120.

Five-hundred people were impacted, mostly farmers and ranchers.

The breach was caused by the levee being overwhelmed by this year’s aggressive storms.

Last weekend the Stockton area received more than one and half inches of rain, according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration.

The downpour caused more water to run into local rivers, including the San Joaquin River, which is now above flood stage in the lower Tracy area.

The flooding affected four areas in Manteca the most, South of Woodward Ave, West of Union Road, North of Mortensen Road and east of the San Joaquin River.

The flooding was temporarily halted when the Reclamation District plugged the hole.

Greg Jones, a Manteca resident, said the breach was plugged before any real damage was done.

“The water was supposed to reach parts of the city like where I lived but they plugged the levee back up pretty fast,” he said. “When I got home or drove some of the places where it was supposed to flood I didn’t see any traces of flooding or damage caused by the flood.”

A segment of Highway 50 was damaged due to mudslides caused by the rain. On the Central California coast, a bridge on Highway 1 is now condemned due to erosion.

San Jose has also experienced flooding as water spread throughout Coyote Creek, with 50,000 citizens ordered to evacuate.

All of this follows the problems with the Oroville Dam when a concrete spillway used to siphon off excess water developed a crater, allowing water to escape and erode the earth underneath.

The Oroville area was evacuated on Feb. 11.

A secondary emergency spillway also developed erosion, with crews working to repair the area.