Experts keeping close eye on Kings River water levels out of fear of flooding

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If computer models and forecasts are correct Central California could get hit with its wettest week in years. (KFSN)

If computer models and forecasts are correct Central California could get hit with its wettest week in years. The latest updates suggest major rain on the Valley floor and high Sierra snow that will continue through the weekend.

"Current numbers are something like we haven't seen in 20 or 30 years, so it could be a very large storm," said Steve Haugen, Watermaster.

According to Haugen, an intense storm like that could create a good boom in the local water supply. But too much rainfall in a short span could cause waterways to crest.

Haugen is monitoring Kings River water levels and said mountain communities are most at risk to see flooding

"If you're adjacent to a creek, water way, water course, or an area you can get run off just be cautious. If you've got any materials you don't want damaged make sure you're well away from those water course."

Cobbles Weir-- just below Pine Flat-- has Haugen most concerned as water levels there were low Tuesday morning. But according to him this week's storm has the potential to cause a number of creeks to run much higher and poses a major challenge to deal with following six years of drought.

"We anticipate a large amount of debris in the river as well. Debris being limbs, trees brush, trash that people left behind, so on and so forth."

You have to go back almost 20 years to the last time Central California experienced a storm like the one forecasted for this week. Back in 1997 dozens of homes and apartment buildings were damaged because of widespread flooding.

"We had about 20 inches to 25 inches of precipitation in a five to 10 day period. This is currently forecasted could be of that scale," said Haugen.

A flash flood watch is in effect through Thursday for the foothills and higher elevations of the Sierra below 7,000 feet-- but this is subject to change.
Related Topics:
weatherflash floodingfresno countystorm
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