KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's only a matter of time before record snow in the mountains brings another round of flood risks for Valley communities.
After Tulare Lake was dried out for decades, at least 15 back-to-back atmospheric rivers this winter caused it to re-emerge.
It's 10 feet deep in some areas and with more water on the way.
Experts believe it could take years for it to dry out.
The hottest days of the year are already in the forecast, making snow melt in the Sierra inevitable.
Waterflow into local reservoirs will pick up this week.
"We are expecting them to about double over the course of a week," explained Michael Anderson, a state climatologist.
In the days to come, engineers will have a close eye on reservoirs before deciding when it's time to make more room and release water.
As for the warm days ahead, water experts are optimistic that dams will buy communities downstream more time before snowmelt causes flooding.
The most significant snowmelt impacts in the Valley are anticipated later in May.
"Slow and steady is the name of the game. we have been fairly lucky so far with the pace of the water. we hope to keep it that way but it's always important for Californians to understand the risk," said Brian Ferguson with Cal OES.
Water experts are not ruling out that if there are problems with levees, nearby communities could experience some flooding sooner.
Waterways upstream of damns are likely to see flooding come faster.
The National Weather Service estimates there is a 75% to 90% chance the Merced River in Yosemite National Park will rise above flood stage by this weekend.
If the water level gets high enough, major roads in Yosemite Valley would flood and close.
"There is water jujitsu happening of flowing with the water to put it where it needs to be but also at the same time understanding what are the emergency protection measure efforts as a state along with our local counterparts can do," said Ferguson.
Water officials say they can't eliminate flood risk but they hope to minimize it.
One way they hope to do that is by getting water pumps to any local agencies that need them so they can be used to divert water from flooding communities.
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