Governor Newsom discusses planning and response to historic flooding in the South Valley

Jessica Harrington Image
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Gov. Gavin Newsom to visit Tulare Basin and survey flooding
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Gov. Gavin Newsom will be in the Central Valley on Tuesday to see the flooding of the Tulare Basin.

KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Governor Newsom toured Kings and Tulare Counties Tuesday to see flood damage and rising water in the historic Tulare Lake Basin.

County Supervisors from Tulare and Kings County warmly welcomed Governor Gavin Newsom Tuesday as he visited the Tulare Lake Basin.

"Help is here. I repeat, help is here," Tulare County Board Supervisor Eddie Valero said.

Newsom spoke alongside the flooded lakebed just outside of Corcoran.

The governor said his office met with local leaders from Kings and Tulare County to get on the same page about shoring up levees that protect vulnerable communities.

"We recognize the magnitude of what will be coming our way over the next few months," Newsom said.

To prepare, the Governor's office says Corcoran State Prison has stopped accepting general population inmates and has established an emergency evacuation plan.

The Department of Water Resources director, Karla Nemeth, was also in town for the Governor's visit.

With the anticipation of more flooding as the historic snowpack melts, Nemeth says they're working to find solutions to make communities feel safe.

"The work that we have to do together with the state and federal partnership is to identify the ways in which we can be sure that we are diverting as much water in advance of it ever arriving at the lakebed," Nemeth said.

But some lawmakers are asking more of Governor Newsom.

In a letter Tuesday, they urged him to dedicate $100 million to San Joaquin River floodplain restoration and $100 million to provide disaster relief to help the areas recover and prevent future flooding.

The Governor said he was aware of the letter but hadn't had a chance to read it.

He argued that his administration has been proactive over the last few years, dedicating $8.3 billion toward addressing issues with water infrastructure conveyance, and groundwater replenishment around stormwater capture.

Newsom says, for now, local state and federal agencies need to continue to work together.

"We not only need to maintain our vigilance, but we can't be impatient in terms of the impending floods and the damage that will occur here."

With the rising temperatures, the Department of Water Resources says residents shouldn't panic because right now the reservoirs have enough room for the expected inflow.

Governor Newsom is urging anyone who has been impacted by flood damage to utilize the resources available.

State resources are available at and federal resources are available at

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