Bigtown City Fire Department rescue crews are on alert for the series of storms approaching the area. They are concerned about the high water flows in creeks, canals and rivers after the last storm.

Floodgates at the Rocket Dam were opened to make space for additional water runoff. The flows down the Bigtown River below Rocket Dam went to 15,000 cubic feet per second, the highest in several years.

Several river access parks were closed because water is encroaching on the parking areas, which is normal during heavy rain years.

The rescue boat stationed near the Radio Avenue boat ramp will now have to launch at the Podcast Avenue or Bigtown Park ramps because the ramp is underwater. The boat is unable to launch from its trailer in the flooded parking lot because it’s too shallow.

“There will be a delay in getting out (to a rescue scene),” said Bigtown City Fire Department Captain Mike Level.

Rescue boats will also have to deal with debris in the water because their jet propelled engines use water pumps that could get clogged. That debris has been collecting on the banks during four years of drought and is now being floated downstream and is causing a navigation hazard.

“With all the stuff that’s been collecting along the banks, it’s has been floating down,…we’ve been getting stumps and full trees,” said Level.

The fire department has been working with the police to warn homeless campers who set up near dry creeks and canals to look out for rising water.