Fresno County, Caltrans work to repair roads ahead of next storm

Jessica Harrington Image
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Fresno County, Caltrans work to repair roads ahead of next storm
Storms have thrashed roads across Fresno county.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Storms have thrashed roads across Fresno County.

We've seen flooded lanes, toppled trees and hillsides that have given out.

Caltrans and County crews are hard at work to get those roads reopened as we brace for more wet weather.

"Fresno County on whole has seen some pretty extensive road damage," said the Emergency Manager for Fresno County's Office of Emergency Services Terri Mejorado.

A downed tree took out power lines near Selma Sunday evening as another storm pushed through Fresno County.

The rain and wind hit as other areas across the county were still reeling from previous storm damage, including a sinkhole near Reedley and flooding near Orange Cove.

Terri Mejorado is the emergency manager for Fresno County's Office of Emergency Services.

She says the county is prioritizing repairs by safety.

"If a community gets completely blocked off by a slide or something happens to their road, we're going to fix that first. Because not only do we want to make sure that they can get out, we want to make sure that, in case someone has a medical emergency, that an ambulance can get in," Mejorado said.

The county is working closely with Cal Fire - Fresno County Fire and their five drones that are in operation to survey damage.

"We have two that can fly in different types of weather whether it be wind, rain and they can provide that live feed to those ground resources," said Cal Fire/Fresno County Fire Battalion Chief John Dominguez.

That came in handy when a levee broke near Orange Cove Friday.

The county was able to identify where the break happened and send in crews.

Other roads still impacted include Trimmer Springs and Highway 180, both of which were hit hard by landslides.

Caltrans has Highway 180 closed off just east of Dunlap Road to Highway 245.

They're waiting for the storm to pass to re-evaluate 180 while focusing on keeping 245 open for residents.

Right now, there's no estimated time for it to fully reopen.

"We do have, what they're calling, active slides and it's nothing huge it's just debris still coming off the hill so it's not a location that we feel comfortable to allow people to go through the area," Caltrans District 6 Public Information Officer Elizabeth Yelton said.

Officials ask people to avoid closed roads and report any damage they see.

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