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Residents in Madera County worry about possible flooding from San Joaquin River

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The Sheriff's Office said it is not just the rain they are wary of. Many of the lakes and dams are full and need to open their floodgates. (KFSN)

A lone totem pole stands in the middle of the San Joaquin River, placed there by Betty Taylor's husband as a sign of faith that you are never supposed to battle these brutal waves alone.

"Now everybody says that's the marker to know what to look for and what to watch for."

The Taylor's moved into Wildwood Mobile Home Park in 1997 right after the last big flood.

"You could just see rooftops, the water was floating just right here," said Taylor.

They said the sights didn't unnerve them and for nearly two decades, the wooden pole kept the waters at bay. Then, starting this year, one torrential downpour followed another. Finally, Thursday afternoon deputies came knocking at her door.

"He said mainly the debris is what we need to worry about, when that happens it will come on the land and push the water towards the homes," said Taylor.

It wasn't just Taylor's neighborhood-- for a third straight night cruisers were stationed on Church Street in North Fork. The water's receded for the time being but deputies said it is only a matter time before it floods again.

"It really depends on how wide the storm is, how hard the rainfall is, and basically how much water is dumped into the streambed's," said Commander Tyson Pogue, Madera County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office said it is not just the rain they are wary of. Many of the lakes and dams are full and need to open their floodgates. It's that water that could potentially flood homes.

"We are capable of gauging the inflow and outflow of Bass Lake, typically through here, I wanna say we get about 300 cubic feet per second, it's about five times more than normal," said Pogue.

Taylor said she and her family are making the necessary preparations.

"Getting all of our paperwork, we have a little boy who is diabetic, just be ready, hand pick it up and go when it happens."

Until then, all eyes are on her backyard, praying that a power from higher above keeps that water below from submerging their faith.

Deputies said Friant Dam has scheduled two releases-- one Saturday and another on Sunday. That's the cause of concern at this mobile home park because all that water will come down the San Joaquin River.

Related Topics:
weatherfloodingsan joaquin rivermadera county
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