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Snowmelt Threatens To Flood San Joaquin River, Mokelumne River

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (KPIX 5) -- Flooding in San Joaquin County has already cost millions of dollars worth of damage and now high water levels along rivers and reservoirs in the area are keeping emergency management teams on alert.

Bill Lindstedt is finally getting the chance to walk back into the Manteca Sportsmen Club, a shooting range that was completely under water after recent storms hit Northern California.

"Well, this year was pretty bad," Lindstedt, a Manteca Sportsmen Club member said.

Owners of the club were forced to close their doors and their neighbors had to abandon their property.

Lindstedt said, "It's been a big problem out here for a while."

More than two months later, most of the area is still flooded.

The San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services estimates the damage to be around $13 million and that doesn't include the crops lost by local farmers.

Michael Cockrell, director of the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services said, "We are not out of the clear. We are just starting another danger period with the snowmelt."

Areas along the Mokelumne River and the San Joaquin River are being watched closely as they rise in order to monitor levels, and in some cases -- warning levels -- this weekend.

There are also crews patrolling parts of the delta, 24/7.

Cockrell said, "We are threatened to the north, to the east, and the south due to river systems, and to the west because of the inland delta, the tide flow also threatens our levees in the delta. So, all around us, we are threatened by water."

The county continues to try and get as much federal assistance to help people deal with the flooding and are working to make area levees stronger. Property owners have taken steps to save their land.

Lindstedt said some residents are relying on sandbags.

"...All we can do is take it day by day. It's nature of living by the delta," Lindstedt explains.

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