Fresno Irrigation District working to handle water coming from atmospheric river

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Friday, March 10, 2023
Fresno Irrigation District working to handle water coming from Atmospheric River
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The Fresno Irrigation District is taking action to stem the flow of floodwater as an incoming storm starts to drench Central California.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Waldron Basin east of Kerman has been filling up with diverted flood flows brought on by previous storms.

Fresno Irrigation District General Manager Bill Stretch says other basins will take on a different look when the skies open up.

"We've got three or four dry cells, so we're keeping those dry in anticipation of what we're going to see in the next few days," he said.

This is where FID can draw water directly from the Kings River but right now, it needs to control the flow of water going into the system.

"We've essentially turned our headgates off at the Kings River just to make room so we have capacity in our canals and our basins for urban pumping," Stretch said.

FID's canal system spans 700 miles, but many canals and basins are full.

RELATED: Atmospheric River: How to prepare for expected storm to hit Central California

If the flow from the Kings River wasn't cut off, flooding would occur.

"It would overwhelm our system and our canal system would breach somewhere," Stretch said. "There's just not enough capacity in our canals to handle that."

The Fresno Irrigation District can also take water from Big Dry Creek Dam across from Harlan Ranch in Clovis.

The reservoir is so full that part of the road's covered up.

Excess water here is now being diverted to the San Joaquin River.

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