Firebaugh deals with flood water after recent storm

FRESNO, Calif.

There's concern at the Firebaugh Historical Park just off 13th street.

It's a good day to be a duck on a lake but this lake at the Firebaugh Historical Park doesn't normally exist.

Dagoberto Chicas snapped pictures of the overflowed banks of the San Joaquin River where he usually comes to picnic with his family.

"The first day when I saw it like this, I was kind of scared," Chicas said. "Those picnic tables you can't see them anymore."

The tables are under these awnings submerged under nearly 5 feet of water. Firebaugh City Manager Jose Ramirez says this area can hold another 4 feet of water which is important when the ground is so saturated.

"You have sustained water blow it begins to weaken the embankment and it could break that could be a problem."

Ramirez says water being released from the Friant Dam and Pine Flat Dam flows here. He says it's already causing problems with the town's water and sewer system--and at least $60,000 in damage.

Ramirez says that could swell to 300,000 once they see what is under the water.

Currently the water poses no threat to homes or buildings; that's because after the last major flood in 2006 when former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a County Wide State of Emergency--Firebaugh Officials spent nearly $1 million to fix a portion of the river.

"They fixed that park there so we are a little safer," Ramirez said.

However if the dams have to release more water because of a large amount of snow melt, it could mean more standing water.

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