February’s downpour has provided for epic visuals, such as the overflow of the obsolete and set-for-removal Matilija Dam in Upper Ojai. Coincidentally, a rain event such as the one that dumped between 6 and 9 inches across Ventura County, and 9-10 inches in the Matilija Creek, is exactly the kind of event that will be needed as part of the Matilija Dam removal project, which is in the planning and funding stages. Paul Jenkin of the Surfrider Foundation, Ventura County chapter, says that the dam was designed to overflow this way and was never meant to hold back flood waters.
“What it really demonstrates is the tremendous energy that the Ventura River has when we get these types of flood events,” said Jenkin. “And this isn’t even a big one.”