Late-season rain drenches across the Valley


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Heavy snow piled high in the Sierra Nevada while drenching rain soaked the Valley this weekend.  And it’s not over yet. Continued wet weather is forcing yet more changes to already different ways of life in the Valley.

Fresno resident Maddie Beard enjoyed the sound of the rain overnight but rain during the day threatens the coffee she’s selling outside in front of Hi-Top Coffee in Fresno’s Tower District.

The cafe is not brewing coffee but selling bags of coffee beans from a table outside the front doors.

“We’re selling coffee beans today. We may open for take-out later this week.”

The special setup is designed to help limit any spread of coronavirus. But outdoors, it cannot withstand heavy rain.

Westlands Water District COO Jose Gutierrez monitors rainfall and snowfall closely because the data is used to determine water allocations to farmers on the west side of the valley.

“We’re grateful that [The U.S. Department of] Reclamation came out with that 15% percent allocation. It really demonstrated that they studied the data and gave us what they felt providing in terms of an allocation. In comparison in 2009 when you had similar hydrology for that date we received a zero percent allocation.”

Rain and snow from this late-season storm may or may not prompt a change. But Gutierrez is hopeful.

Gutierrez says, “We’re hopeful the allocation will increase maybe toward the end of April when they come out with another announcement. Maybe from 15% to 20% or 25%.”

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