The BBC spoke with Neil Sheehan at the NRC to ask about the Alert and clear some things up.
His message: don't freak out.
Here's what he had to say ? from the BBC (emphasis ours):
A nuclear "alert" may sound scary, but Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan tells the BBC there's no reason to "freak out". The alert was issued because water in the pumps' intake structure passed(4.5ft), but they still operate in up to 7ft. Even if the water rises that high, the plant can turn to a backup method to cool spent fuel rods. Because the plant has been shut down for a week for scheduled maintenance, there's also much less to be cooled. And if things get really bad, they could shut off the reactor all together - though Sheehan says there's no reason to do so yet.