|Testing the new spillway at Folsom Dam (Youtube photo from late 2017)|
It began like another uneventful winter day on tranquil Lake Natoma….
|Karen paddling into "big pipe" on a typically calm day (2009)|
….as we pushed off from Nimbus Flats on Friday (1/12) and paddled into “the big pipe” just across the lake. Of course, we had no idea that the new spillway at Folsom Dam, about seven miles upstream, had opened minutes earlier. The outflow shot from around 2,000 cubic feet per second to more than 14,500 cfs – and was coming straight toward us.
To put it another way, that was about 6.5 million gallons a minute -- enough to fill about ten Olympic-sized swimming pools. A significant amount of water, even in a bathtub