|Dry Creek in December of 2016 before the current storms|
|Dry Creek at about 1,000 cubic feet per second on January 9, 2017|
Dry Creek (one of many such "Dry Creeks" in California and elsewhere) is a "minor" tributary to the Tuolumne River that has its headwaters in the lower parts of the Mother Lode northeast of Modesto Reservoir. It actually isn't dry as much as the name might suggest because irrigation overflow keeps some water in the channel during the dry season. But it has no dams or reservoirs to control flows, so it has a history of sudden flashfloods during intense storms. I've been here in Modesto for nearly thirty years, and I've seen several events that resulted in flows of 3,000 cubic feet or so, but only once have I seen flows that approached that which took place today. It was in 1997 during some of the worst flooding ever experienced in Northern California. The opening scene in the video that I posted the other day about the 1997 floods shows Dry Creek in Waterford at that time. Compare that scene with the picture below.
|Oakdale-Waterford Highway at high water on January 11, around 6,000 cubic feet per second.|