Tulare County Supervisors to take up Kings River flooding costs on Tuesday

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On Tuesday, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors will vote on ratifying evacuation orders on the Kings River, as well as approving the proclamation of a local emergency. (KFSN)

On Tuesday, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors will vote on ratifying evacuation orders on the Kings River, as well as approving the proclamation of a local emergency.

This comes after flows from Pine Flat Dam increased and flooding ensued. The local emergency is a precursor to a potential state of emergency issued by the governor.

"Part of the recovery efforts for reimbursements and costs, we have to have an emergency declaration, a local one in place," said Tulare County Public Information Officer Carrie Monteiro.

She says they're still crunching the numbers, but have identified some of the county's major costs associated with the flood response.

The biggest is personnel costs, from fire strike teams maintaining levee breaches, to hand crews filling hundreds of sandbags. Monteiro says the staffing costs will continue even after the flooding ceases.

"The recovery efforts and damage assessments, staff on hand to help residents recover, assess damages, and then also provide them with resources for their homes," she said.

Other major costs include equipment and supply purchases. Additionally, the county is currently contracting with a helicopter company, dropping very large sandbags where the riverbank was breached.

An emergency operations center has been set up. Monteiro says multiple agencies and organizations are involved in the effort.

"We've all been in communications with each other to work together, pool our resources to better maintain, save lives, save property, and the environment surrounding this incident," Monteiro said.

In the meantime, the county is telling evacuees to hang on tight. They'll let residents know as soon as it's safe to return to their homes.

Related Topics:
newstulare countystate of emergencyKings RiverTulare County
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