Reservoir manager warns of flooding

In a press conference today, John Sigman, general manager of Ross Barnett Reservoir, announced the receipt of new and worsening water level data from the National Weather Service.

Sigman said, "The inflow forecast was significantly higher than what we had been experiencing or what we had been expecting. And that was due to an unprecedented amount of rain that occurred last night.

"It was two inches totally across the basin on top of all the rain that we had. That rainfall was not expected. And now we have it to deal with.

"The lake is in a good condition. It's low right now. We're going to take the excess water that we can and we will fill the lake. We will use every bit of capacity in the lake to attenuate this flood as it goes downstream.

"I can only do that for a couple of days . . .(Then) we will have to increase the discharges. That will give anyone who needs to prepare for a flood a couple of days to do it. If we increased the discharge now, they won't be able to get into the streets to do it because they'll be flooded.

"It's projected by the weather service that the river will go to 38 feet. that's the third highest level of record. If you had a flood problem in 1983, you can expect one with this flood.

"Depending how much rain we get Tuesday and Wednesday, impacts how much we will have to release."

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