Several towns in the Valley may still be on flood watch even as the rain subsides

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On most days the San Joaquin River calmly sits as a backdrop to an RV park. But this week, Kurt Irwin is watchful of the waters. (KFSN)

On most days the San Joaquin River calmly sits as a backdrop to an RV park. But this week, Kurt Irwin is watchful of the waters.

"It rained a lot today, so hopefully not too much fuller, but pretty soon I think it might be scary."

Some of his neighbors are panicking while packing. They are unsure if water from the Friant Dam will flow down the San Joaquin and flood their homes. Irwin's not leaving just yet, but many of his neighbors are.

"The other side of the levee will disappear cuz the water will go over it, it fills up another field here, fills up another field over here, and it's gotta fill up this field across the street from us before we have to worry about flooding."

The San Joaquin River is expected to crest at 64 feet this week, but Public Works Director Koosun Kim is more concerned about the nearby the Orestimba Creek. The tributary flooded downtown Newman about 20 years ago, submerging the roads under several feet of water.

"That's why we provided more than 1,000 sandbags to those who are living nearby Highway 33, because last time there was flooding in this area."

Forecasts predict the San Joaquin River will hit just below flood levels.

Families living close to shore are spending the next day packing while the city is using every second to clear all waterways.

"Last time when the big storm hit this area all kinds of debris from the mountains, or some areas were stuck in there, that's why the waters started overflowing," said Kim.

The city will be monitoring the river gauge from a computer system.

The river is expected to peak Thursday afternoon.
Related Topics:
weathercaliforniafloodingsan joaquin riverstorm
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