Another result of the Northern California storms filling reservoirs and flooding rivers and roads: The Don Pedro Controlled Spillway in Tuolumne County opened its gates for the first time today since 1997, releasing 18,000 to 20,000 cubic feet per second of water

News station KCRA3 reports that the structural integrity of the Don Pedro Dam is not in question, and that the spillway will be open for at least four days. According to the Turlock Irrigation District, the initial water release began at 3 p.m.

The use of the Don Pedro spillway follows damage to the Oroville Dam Spillway that put that dam's emergency spillway into use for the first time. The measure, and others like the use of the Lake Beryessa "Glory Hole," are just two in a variety of efforts undertaken to manage rising water levels amid heavy rains. Heavy precipitation is expected to continue into tomorrow, Tuesday, at the least.

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