Bakersfield Congressman Kevin McCarthy released a statement on concerns about Lake Isabella Monday:
“Lake Isabella is fundamental to our community's wellbeing. It is a mainstay to the vibrant tourism industry that makes the Kern River Valley a destination for thousands every year and supplies our community with precious water for farming and other purposes. This weekend’s emergency at Oroville Dam has caused some concern within our community about the status of Lake Isabella given the safety work underway at Main and Auxiliary Dams. I have spoken with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District Commander Colonel David Ray about Lake Isabella and he has assured me that Lake Isabella is safe. Furthermore, he told me the Corps is working to ensure the water levels in the reservoir do not go above 360,000 acre feet, the current capacity limit to maintain safety. Any release of water into the Kern River is also being done in coordination with downstream users and water rights holders, including Bakersfield.
“Over the years, I have worked to hold the Corps accountable to the timeline needed to expeditiously complete the safety work needed at Main and Auxiliary Dams at Lake Isabella, something I reiterated again with Colonel Ray. This weekend’s events at Oroville Dam only further demonstrate the need to get the repairs at Isabella done quickly and why I have secured over $85 million to date for this project.
“While our parched state has been blessed with much-needed rain and snow this year, I will remain vigilant and continue to work with our community partners and the Corps to ensure our dams remain safe.”