The water management department warns that California may continue to be dry in 2023 | Bay Area News | Voice of Hope

【Voice of Hope November 29, 2022】

1. Oakland man flees onto highway, blocking north-south traffic

A man with a gun ran onto Highway 880 in Oakland Sunday night, disrupting traffic for three hours. The incident happened just before 10 p.m. on Sunday night at the intersection of 66th Street and Coliseum Way. Police said they saw the man brandishing a pistol at them as they passed by. When he was about to question him, the man ran onto Highway 880 on foot and was stranded on the divider island in the middle of the north-south traffic. Police were forced to close Highway 880 to traffic in both directions from High Street to Hegenberger Road. Police tried to persuade the man, but he refused to cooperate. After about an hour of communication, the man agreed to give up resistance and accept arrest. Oakland police say the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is welcome to call (510) 238-3426.

2. Beijiayi Forest Park allows families to cut down 2 Christmas trees for free

Recently, the U.S. Forestry Department began offering Christmas tree (felling) permits to the public, and families with permits will be allowed to cut up to two Christmas trees in (Stanislaus National Forest). Each tree has a maximum height of 20 feet. The species of the tree can be selected among pine, cedar or fir.

The forestry department said the move was to help reduce the hidden dangers left by frequent wildfires over the years, because removing too many small trees can help the overall health of the forest grow. The Forestry Department advises permit holders to bring a tape measure, hand saw, gloves, tarp and rope to use in securing the tree after it has been felled. The felling site should be in a densely wooded area. The license is valid until December 31st.

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Stanislaus National Forest is about two to three hours’ drive from San Francisco, and up to 5,000 people will be allowed to cut trees for free during this Christmas season. The price of cutting down a Christmas tree on a private farm is about $100.

3. The water management department warned that the drought in California may continue in 2023

On Monday, federal water managers warned California cities and industrial users who draw water from the Central Valley to brace for a fourth year of drought and possible “extremely limited water supply” in 2023.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, a division of the Interior Department, drought conditions persisted in California despite back-to-back rains earlier this month, with storage near record lows in reservoirs the department oversees in the state, such as the state’s largest, Shas. Tower Reservoir, about 200 miles north of the Bay Area, is currently holding just 31 percent of its capacity. These reservoirs supply water to an estimated 2.5 million people in large agricultural areas in the Central Valley, as well as major urban centers in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Bureau of Reclamation said it would announce initial water allocations for the Central Valley Project in February.

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