California Rains Offer Drought Relief, Then a Rare and Beautiful Spectacle
Science & Tech| | By Jason Owen
California’s historic drought has received some much-needed help in recent months as precipitation has finally begun to refill water tables throughout the state. And for the first time in a long time, a rare spectacle is unfolding near the state’s famed Napa Valley.
Lake Berryessa has now received so much water in the past month that it’s overflowing into the famous spillway, creating a sight not seen for over 11 years, according to CBS News’ Mireya Villarreal. Now, visitors are treated to a gorgeous torrent of rushing water as it cascades into the “Morning Glory Spillway.”
“Back in October, we were essentially half-full,” Roland Sanford, general manager of the Solano County Water Agency, told CBS News. “This is the first time that the lake has been so low, and filled-up and spilled in one year.”
The recent phenomenon was captured by Storyful’s Evan Kilkus in a breathtaking drone video, where he sent an airborne camera above the spillway for a spectacular view.
Until recently, the Morning Glory Spillway was so dry it became an unofficial skatepark. Photos of the arid lake had sent shockwaves through social media in recent years to highlight the devastating impact climate change has on the region. The drought became so bad, Gov. Jerry Brown required residents to ration water and limit use on such things as hosing down sidewalks and washing their vehicles.
Despite the rains, the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Nebraska estimates that much of the state, especially in the south, is still “abnormally dry” or in a “severe drought.”
As the effects of climate change worsen, it’s difficult to tell if the Morning Glory Spillway will maintain its current look, or if it’ll be another decade before tourists can get this now rare glimpse again.