Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Flooding at Lodi Lake Park Nature Area

High Mokelumne River levels are creating flooded conditions in the Lodi Lake Park Nature Area, forcing City officials to close the 58 acres to the public for the time being.

The saturated ground has led to the uprooting of several large oak trees in the Nature Area, creating a hazard for the public. In addition, parts of the trails are underwater.

The water elevation in Pigs Lake is tied to the river level. Pigs Lake is overflowing at several points, and strong river current continue to undercut the riverbank. The City has sought grant funds to strengthen the riverbank and prevent the river from eroding the few remaining feet between the Mokelumne and Pigs Lake, but has not been successful to this point.

The fear is when the riverbank eventually fails, river water will saturate the Nature Area year-round, leading to more trees falling, a rise in mosquito populations, etc. Current high river levels give us a preview of what could happen if the bank were to completely erode.

The final photo is of a large oak tree that fell over the dirt path on the north side of the Nature Area.
  Please stay out of the Nature Area until park staff feel it's safe for the public.