Flooding caused by pipe leak forced evacuations in Strathmore

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After floodwaters prompted Strathmore residents to leave their homes, some have returned to survey the damage.

"I was thankful to God, thankful to the fire department, the sheriff's office, they worked through the night," said Ana Nunez.

Nunez says she and her family consider themselves lucky after Friday nights flooding.

They moved into their home in November of last year, living just a football field away from the canal. They had concerns but didn't think water would be at their front doorstep

"We were watching it come toward us and thought oh it'll be fine, it'll be fine and then it just rose," Nunez said. "And then we were like we gotta go."

Not knowing if they would have a home to return to, they were relieved to find an "OK to occupy" notice.

"I told her to get the kids and get out of the driveway," James Mcelrea and his family have lived on Road 234 for the last 12 years.

He says this isn't the first time they've had flooding, but he says it's never been this bad.

"It was completely over the road you couldn't even see the road," Mcelrea said.

County crews worked throughout the night to pump flood water into nearby drains.

"We had roughly 3,000 feet of hose down on the ground in different places throughout this section of Strathmore between 234 and Richardson," said Capt. Joanne Bear with Tulare County Fire.

The Friant Water Authority addressed concerns Saturday saying the neighborhood is historically a flood basin.

When it became a residential development, undershoots from Frazier Creek, that would allow water to flow under the canal and into the basin, were plugged by Tulare County.

The statement released says one of those plugs failed Friday night.
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