VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The City of Visalia declared a local state of emergency Monday afternoon in response to the past weekend’s storm and in anticipation of another storm forecasted to hit Tuesday morning.
Officials say the City of Visalia made the declaration and immediately implemented an emergency response plan which will be effective through Monday, March 20.
City crews successfully diverted water and avoided major flooding in most areas of the city over the weekend. However, water levels remain high in most waterways as of Monday evening with even more rain anticipated to start again at approximately 5:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to officials.
In addition to the forecasted rain and snowmelt on its way from the nearby Sierra Nevada, the Army Corps of Engineers is planning a release of water from Lake Kaweah at the Terminus Dam due to an influx of water in the lake which will impact waterways throughout the City of Visalia.
“We are preparing for different scenarios that could take place over the next 48 hours and are working with local agencies to ensure that our city is ready,” said City of Visalia Fire Chief, Dan Griswold. “With the Declaration of a Local Emergency, we advise people to wait for official communication and know that we are working on plans and services.
Officials say residents who live directly next to a waterway are advised to utilize city services, place sandbags on their property, and prepare for the possibility of waterways to spill over.
Residents who are experiencing an issue or see excessive flooding that is non-life-threatening, are being asked to call the city’s non-emergency line at (559) 734-8116.