Heavy rain causes flooding and problems for Valley farmer

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Puddles of water are still lining parts of a west side farmers field after a torrential rain flooded his farm. (KFSN)

Thursday's rain created quite the challenge for some Central Valley growers. Puddles of water are still lining parts of a west side farmers field after a torrential rain flooded his farm.

"Why did it happen and now," asked Joe Del Bosque, farmer.

Two questions Del Bosque asked himself after Thursday's storm left one of his fields looking like a river.

"If you have crops growing, you don't want this kind of raining. A little rain, but this is a hard pounding rain that damages plants."

And it damaged thousands of his crops.

Del Bosque said over an inch of rain fell in about 30 minutes. Washing out four of his melon fields-- even one of his cherry orchards.

Creating not only a delay in production but also a loss in money.

"Because it'll probably be until next week until we get back in the fields." Del Bosque added, "In the cherries, I'm sure its tens of thousands if not more. In the melons at least that could be more."

The Westlands Water District says rain is typically welcomed by farmers, except when it leaves this kind of aftermath.

And the impact of it can affect consumers as well.

"If it comes in a harsh manner, as it has been reported in some areas, it can do some long term damage. And so, people may actually see that with a limited amount of food available, or possibly higher prices due to damage that may have occurred," said Gayle Holman, Westlands Water District.

And Del Bosque said when lightning strikes and signs of a strong storm are clear,
very few farmers planting on the west side of the Valley close to the foothills are thrilled.

"When it's on a slope, the water runs even faster causing even more, damage because it will run down to the lowest spot and it will start to flood."

And the Westlands Water District said the irony in all of this is that even with the amount of rain its farmers got they are still only receiving a five-percent water allocation from the US Bureau of Reclamation.

Related Topics:
weatheragriculturefloodingfresno countyMendota
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