Due to its size, Clear Lake responds more slowly to storm events and rises to flood stage only after prolonged storms, as is happening this year. When this happens, Clear Lake's natural outlet, Cache Creek, is too small to allow floodwater to leave the lake as fast as it enters. Contrary to popular belief, the Clear Lake Dam does not cause Clear Lake to flood. The dam can actually release water much faster than Cache Creek can flow. It is the narrow Cache Creek channel and the Grigsby Riffle (a rock sill) that slow the release of water from Clear Lake during a flood.
The County of Lake has a great web page that includes a variety of flood-related information including weather forecasts, Clear Lake levels and an interactive Rumsey Gage Map-- check it out here. The County's page also includes information about where to purchase sandbags.Please remember, flooding is very hazardous. The force of moving water or waves can destroy a building.
- Slow moving flood waters can knock people off their feet or float a car.
- Even standing water can float a building, collapse basement walls, or buckle a concrete floor.
- Water-soaked contents, such as carpeting, clothing, upholstered furniture, and mattresses may have to be thrown away after a flood.
- Some items, such as photographs and heirlooms, may never be restored to their original condition.
- Floodwaters are not clean: floods carry mud, farm chemicals, road oil, and other noxious substances that cause health hazards.
- The impact of a flood, cleaning up, making repairs, and the personal losses can cause great stress to you, your family, and your finances.