FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Communities along the Kings River are on high alert after Tulare County issued an evacuation Wednesday warning ahead of the next storm due to flooding concerns.
“We’re moving into territory that we haven’t seen on the Kings river for a long long time,” said Randy Mcfarland, a consultant with the King’s River Water Association (KRWA).
Water experts are looking to avoid a repeat of the 2017 flood of the Kings River that flooded nearby homes and the Kings River Golf and Country club.
Chris Vanbeurden, a homeowner whose home took on several inches of water back in 2017, says he has learned since the last time.
“I think we need to prepare I think we need to move the furniture away from that room,” VanBeurden continued.
Water levels on the Kings River are high as the Kings River Water Association makes room for incoming water runoff at Pine Flat Dam.
The next storm is expected to melt snow in the lower elevations mountains bringing a record amount of water downhill.
“For the most part, this water is being released from pine flat to bring the level of the reservoir down a little bit,” said McFarland.
While the water association has a handle on river levels they say that can quickly change.
“We can’t control the amount of water that’s going to be generated by mill creek and these Foothill creeks because they enter the river below Pine Flat Dam. If Mill Creek should reach its peak, it is likely to spill somewhere along the way in low-lying ground,” McFarland continued. “Anything along the river needs to be very very watchful going on.”
Tulare County is giving away free sandbags for all who need them.