Evacuation orders issued for areas west of Highway 43 in Tulare County

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Saturday, March 25, 2023
Evacuation orders issued for areas west of Highway 43 in Tulare County
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Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux has issued Evacuation Orders for areas west of Highway 43 due to rising waters and breaches along the levee.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Tulare County Sheriff is putting out an urgent call to action for those south of Corcoran as the latest round of evacuation orders came down on Friday.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office says the rising flood waters and breaches along the levee prompted the evacuation orders. They are asking everyone to prepare for additional water hazards.

The Evacuation Order includes the following areas:

  • West Boundary: East of Tulare/ Kings County Line: Road 16 also known as 4th Avenue
  • South Boundary: South to the Tulare/Kern County Line: County Line Road
  • East Boundary: Highway 43
  • North Boundary: Highway 43 at Santa Fe Avenue
  • Twin River Ranch
  • Channel Island Dairy
  • Vanderham West Diary
  • L&J Ranch
  • "I have 26 deputies plus Fire crews headed out to notify to dairies and people living near there," said Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux.

    Several farming operations were told flooding is inevitable including Twin River Ranch, Channel Islands Dairy, Vanderham West and L & J Ranch.

    Out of close to 2000 residents in nearby Alpaugh and Allensworth, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux says only 2% complied with evacuation orders.

    "939 the roadways being cut off really impacts the ability to get emergency services for people," Boudreaux said.

    While an area of concern is what would be considered Tulare lake, strong flows have stretched first responders across the 4,400 square mile county.

    "We're watching the kings river we're watching. The St. John's River, the Tule River, we're watching Poso Creek, Deer Creek," Boudreaux said.

    New levee breaches are happening daily. So far, there have been 55 and counting.

    "We have hand crews and we have helicopters with so called super sacks that have something like 2500 pounds of sand and rock," said Rick Carhart with Cal Fire.

    Close to 800 structures have been damaged and 7 destroyed.

    However, it's unclear how long the county will feel the impacts as snowmelt continues to pose a threat.

    "Life, property, environment. These are our top priority," said Tulare County Fire Chief Charlie Norman.

    The Tulare County fire Chief saying says the region hasn't seen a flooding event like this in decades.

    "This magnitude, not in my lifetime. We had a big event in 2017, nowhere near this big," Norman said.

    First responders are triaging resources County wide to the areas that are in critical need, including breaches along the waterways.

    That's why the sheriff is reminding people to heed those evacuation warnings and orders.