Spending announced by Gov. Newsom to impact Corcoran levee

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Saturday, May 13, 2023
Spending announced by Gov. Newsom to impact Corcoran levee
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Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he plans to restore money previously cut from flood protection projects.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In the South Valley, a big announcement from Governor Newsom could bring relief to communities at risk of flooding.

He's proposing nearly $500 million dollars to support flood response and projects such as raising the Corcoran Levee.

As Tulare Lake continues rising, so do the worries of neighboring communities.

"We are all in it together," said Fernando Gomez, said a resident of Corcoran.

Fernando Gomez has lived his entire life in Corcoran.

He says although it's incredible to see the amount of water filling the lake after a devastating drought, it has filled families with worry and fear.

"We have taken our important documents to another relative's place to keep them safe, and we even have extra clothes and things like that," said Gomez.

On Friday morning, Kings County officials highlighted financial support recently announced by Governor Gavin Newsom.

His revised budget includes $492 million in total for flood response.

Some of the millions will reinforce and raise the Corcoran levee three and a half feet...which is critical for hundreds of families.

Supervisor Richard Valle says his mother lives in Corcoran and is excited to tell her to worry a little less.

"Her first question would be, 'Mijo, are we going to flood?' And when I see her today, I get to look her in the eye and say, 'no.' That is big," explained Kings County Supervisor Richard Valle.

Kings County Sheriff Dave Robinson says the lake will hold water for several months and have a lasting impact economically.

"This water is going to cover farmland that feeds the world, and I hope people realize that this is a big deal to us. It has a huge economic impact. So, the announcement from the governor's office is tremendous for us and we really appreciate that," said Robinson.

The raising of the 14.5-mile-long levee in Corcoran is expected to be complete by the first week of June.