Farmers and officials on edge after Levee breach in Kings County

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Kings River Conservation District workers rushed to fix a 40 foot levee break that gushed into 400 acres of alfalfa. (KFSN)

Living next to the Kings River for 17 years makes farmer Jim Bratton a water level expert and he said he has never seen it this high.

Bratton said the rushing water is refreshing for an area where the drought has ruined agriculture. But too much runoff from the high country all at once is a concern.

"My main concern is that I don't want to see the river break and go out into our crops."

One farmer a few country blocks away is already feeling the heat. Kings River Conservation District workers rushed to fix a 40 foot levee break that gushed into 400 acres of alfalfa.

"It's an earthen levee so of course it's going to be sloughed away and erosion. And so what they're going to have to do is bring in trucks and try to backfill that quickly," said Cristel Tufenkjian, Kings River Conservation District.

That breach is now patched up, but there's more concern for other holes.

Since the Army Corps of Engineers released snow melt from Pine Flat Dam the conservation district is on a 24/7 levee watch.

Farmers like Bratton are on edge, "I would rather have too much water like this than those years of drought, because we were having a very difficult time. We just have to patrol our banks and look for leaks and that's all we can do."

Related Topics:
newsfloodingkings countyKings RiverKings County
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