Forecast heavy rain brings flooding, landslide risks

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – The recent heavy rain brings a welcome relief – but also increases the risk of flooding and mudslides.

This weekend, half-an-inch of rain brought minor street flooding. Several times that amount is forecast later this week.

The Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District says their system is designed to handle a half-inch of rainfall an hour.

With such a dry winter so far, area flooding basins have plenty of room.

“Trees still have a whole lot of leaves on them,” said the district’s Peter Sanchez. “Blocking of inlets is always an issue until you get the leaves out of the trees.”

The rain brings a particular danger in mountain areas near recent wildfires

Fresno County Office of Emergency Services director Dan Lynch says they are evaluating the risk of rock slides, mudslides, and debris flow in the area of the Creek Fire.

“We’re being told it’s moderate only because it’s a large amount of rain that may come over a long period of time. And that’s less concerning. The other part is if it comes down in the form of snow then that is less concerning.”

In the wake of the Creek Fire, the office formed a Storm Readiness Group to consider the immediate threat of dangers including landslides, as well as the subsequent dangers they may cause as well.

“We will be considering whether or not we are going to allow a large population of people to go up there with the consideration that if we somehow lose [Highway] 168 to some kind of blockage that we won’t be able to get people out.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department has a winter weather map on its website listing emergency updates and evacuations. It currently shows the risk for debris or mudflows broken down into zones through the affected area.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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