Clovis road flooding exactly as it's supposed to

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Bicyclists and recreation lovers got quite a shock up in northeast Clovis when one of their favorite spots reverted to its intended purpose. (KFSN)

Bicyclists and recreation lovers got quite a shock up in northeast Clovis when one of their favorite spots reverted to its intended purpose.

The end of the road comes a lot sooner than you might expect now. But the water making the drive impossible is not your average flooding, and the big hill between it and Harlan Ranch is a dead giveaway.

This road runs into the Big Dry Creek Reservoir.

The water comes from the foothills, runs down the creek bed, and gets stopped by a dam built in the 1940s to prevent flooding in Fresno and Clovis.

"Instead of having several thousand acre feet come through town at once, it's stopped at the dam, impounded there and then released under a controlled rate," said Paul Allen with the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District.

Photos show how bone dry the reservoir has been for several years now, but drone video from Nick Sanchez shows it now in its natural state. As the water rose up to near record levels in January, it covered up the road used by bicyclists and the pasture used by local cattle ranchers who lease the land from the flood control district.

The cows still love the green grass they can find this winter, and nature enthusiasts have also found some alternative methods of enjoying the area -- although the flood control district doesn't endorse boating on the water.

"That's something we don't like to see because of the public safety issue that goes there," Allen said. "Somebody could overturn a boat and drown. The water is cold. The water is deep. There's floating debris."

Water levels are slowly going down now at about an inch a week, but for the next few months, the reservoir will help recharge groundwater until it dries out again, probably by early summer.
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