BENICIA, Calif. (KRON) — Lake Herman in Benicia has received 10 feet of water since the start of the new year. Now, public works crews are making sure that water from the lake doesn’t overflow to a nearby creek.

If that happens, businesses nearby could see flooding.

“Our crews have been preparing for the atmospheric rivers since the end of last year,” said Benicia’s Public Works Director, Kyle Ochenduszko.

Ochenduszko and his team have been working 12-14 hour days since Dec. 27, proactively keeping rain water from homes and businesses, while also strategically emptying water out of the reservoir — Lake Herman.

“We calculate a time that’s appropriate to release water through an outlet valve which goes generally underneath me right now and into Sulphur Springs Creek and it safely releases water into the creek,” said Ochenduszko.

The reservoir typically sees about 113 feet of water. That number has now risen to nearly 119 feet. Crews have been working to get water from Lake Herman into Sulphur Springs Creek in a controlled fashion. It’s an effort to prevent nearby businesses from flooding.

“There is a possibility that Sulphur Springs Creek, through storm water coming in, the creek swelling, could go outside of its banks. So, the businesses in our area have been working against storm water issues until now,” he added.

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With more rain headed our way Friday into the weekend, the City of Benicia says the businesses adjacent to the creek are under a Flood Watch and have been warned about the potential of flood waters.

“We want them to be aware that the creek may go past its banks which in case they may need to take action and they may need to be evacuated,” said Ochenduszko.

Ochenduszko and his team have cleaned storm drains, emptied areas in the creek before the storms arrived and revisited those places repeatedly. In the meantime, officials have closed Lake Herman’s recreation area until further notice. They say the ground is too saturated to safely walk on.