Pine Flat Dam releasing more water as it nears capacity

FRESNO COUNTY, California - Officials say the Pine Flat Dam is close to maximum capacity – pushing more water into the Kings River – which is already running high.
That will impact people and their homes in the floodplain.
Mandatory evacuations for the back portion of the Riverbend Mobile Home Park near Minkler, California affecting 12 homes and 15 people.
But if flooding gets worse, the residents in the 27 remaining homes may be forced to evacuate.
And expect more water to rise.
Right now the Pine Flat Dam is a little more than 97 percent full – so water must continue to be released.
Officials hiked the releases to 14,000 feet per second, and we're told the amount of water could be upped by 1,000 more cubic feet per second over the next 36 hours.

At this point, the levees are holding, but low lying areas with homes like the Riverbend are in jeopardy.

“These are not overly extended amounts of water, OK. More water was released in 1969 than there is right now; so this isn't the first time something like this has happened,” Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes said.

Officials say the amounts of water being released each day have to match up or storage in the dam will just keep gaining.

Mendes said the Kings River has no bypasses to help relieve pressure, and we're told the Pine Flat dam is holding about 987,000 acre feet. Its capacity is 1 million acre feet.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office said the following areas may be impacted more:

  • Kings River Road between Manning Avenue and Parlier Avenue in Reedley, just west of Reedley College and the river. It impacts approximately 10 homes, as well as the Hauli Huvila campground.
  • The Wildwood subdivision located near N. Piedra Road and Wilderness Road in Sanger. In this area, approximately three dozen homes in particular are situated close to the Kings River.
  • The Riverbend Mobile Home Park located at 17604 E. Kings Canyon Road in Sanger. This entire property has 39 homes and 56 people.

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