FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno County officials are urging residents to be prepared with a large amount of rain forecast – and a record amount of snow – something experts say has not been seen in over 40 years.

In a briefing Friday morning, Fresno County Sheriff John Zanoni and Fresno County Emergency Services Manager Terri Mejorado shared updates about future storms and potential flooding, adding that all the snow melts that snow has to go somewhere.

Sheriff Zanoni says the snowmelt ends up in Millerton Lake, goes out of Friant Dam and then travels down the San Joaquin out west towards the town of Mendota and Firebaugh.

“The conditions on the river are going to be very dangerous,” Zanoni said.  

Sheriff Zanoni says the other part of that snowpack heads down that watershed and ends up in Pine Flat Reservoir, goes out, Pine Flat Dam into the Lower Kings River, out into southern Fresno County, towards Coalinga, and even into Kings County.

“And that’s why in some cases, we are not even going to deploy our boat patrols on the river unless someone needs actual rescuing or there’s an emergency because it’s not safe just for our people to be out there based on the levels we project that we’re going to see,” Zanoni said.

Emergency Services Manager Terri Mejorado says they have activation now at level three and what they are calling the advanced planning measures. Mejorado is asking people to preplan if they live in an area that normally floods during normal storms.