By Jennifer McGraw


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Tower Bridge is being battered by debris, a dramatic example of just how powerful the winter storms have been. A floating wood and metal dock broke free somewhere upstream and slammed into the concrete support structure of the bridge.

“It could just jam up some equipment that’s being used on the bridge,” said Dennis Keaton with Caltrans.

Caltrans bridge inspectors say there doesn’t appear to be any structural damage.

“They’ll know more about it once they’re able to get down there and take a look,” Keaton said.

Eventually, a crew will be sent out on a boat to remove the debris, but the swift runoff is making it too dangerous to remove now.

“At this point, it has to do with the currents more than anything else. Not only are the river levels higher up on the banks, but with that brings stronger currents,” Keaton said.

READ ALSO: Trash Piling Up In River After Big Storm

It’s the latest example of UFOs, unidentified floating objects being washed downstream.

“This went up extremely fast,” said Ross Billingsley, manager of Rio City Café.

He and has a waterfront view in Old Sacramento and has been monitoring the rapid rise of the river over the last two weeks.

“You come in the next day and it will be two, four feet higher when it’s raining,” he said.

He and his coworkers have seen some strange things float by.

“My manager actually told me a funny story, he saw a large mattress floating down the river,” Billingsley said.

Anything in the water like boats, bridges, and docks are a potential target for debris.

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“We’ve had a few trees that hit the Delta King that caused damage,” Billingsley said.

It’s not just a problem at Tower Bridge. The Paintersville Bridge in the delta also has a large mass of debris piled up against its abutment.

Caltrans says that while having an entire dock is unusual, debris accumulation is actually common this time of year and part of living in a river city.

“You know Mother Nature, there’s not much you can do,” Keaton said.

Another issue is that the bridge is stuck in the down position. Caltrans will have to wait until the bridge is fixed so it can bring in a boat big enough to remove the debris but can also fit under the bridge.

Jennifer McGraw

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