Farmers lose thousands of dollars worth of crop during Kings River flooding

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River water flooded parts of one farmer's orchard - unearthing trees, displacing irrigation hoses, exposing river rock, and lifting asphalt on property roads. (KFSN)

The sights and sounds of rushing water surround Kings River farming.

One operation has roughly 200 acres of Mandarin varieties along the river.

"I would say there's about 30 acres that's underwater," manager Brian Bedrosian.

Each acre holds more than 200 trees.

"Thousands of trees gone, thousands of dollars," Bedrosian said.

Bedrosian continues to assess the damage after last weeks increased releases from Pine Flat Dam sent water rushing into the Kings River.

That water flooded parts of the orchard - unearthing trees, displacing irrigation hoses, exposing river rock, and lifting asphalt on property roads.

"Even though the water has gone down, things are still happening," Bedrosian said. "It's full of sand and rock, so we had to get a new pipeline installed so we can irrigate."

Already facing $60,000 to $80,000 in damages, Bedrosian says the road is too expensive to fix, so they'll have to pull out more trees to make a new access road.

As for the trees that are still underwater, he won't be able to check if they're salvageable until the water dries. He adds after farming more than 35 years, this is a first for him.

"We've had devastating frost wind storms, hail storms, now we got flooding," he said.

It's something unexpected after almost six years of drought conditions.

"I did think water would be a problem, not being able to get it," Bedrosian said. "I didn't think there would be too much."

Fresno County Ag Commissioner Les Wright says he's aware of several flooded fields in Kingsburg and north of Reedley, but they can't assess the total damage until the water subsides and the soil dries out.

Related Topics:
newsKings Riverfloodingtulare countyKingsburg
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