Fresno County asks for aid to help with emergency declaration focusing on Tranquillity levees

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Portions of the levees holding back the water in canals in the Tranquility area failed during the latest storms. Temporary repairs were made but the threat of more flooding remains in the area 40 miles west of Fresno.

"We are looking at a half mile to three miles of levees that could need to be built," said Steve Haugen, Water Master for the Kings River Water Association.

Haugen said the cost for the repairs could run into the millions of dollars to protect the farmland and some 80 homes.

Fresno County Public Health Director Dave Pomaville said the county is working to assess all the areas potentially threatened by levee breaches.

"We are putting together a response plan for Tranquillity, but also a broader community response plan in case we have concerns in other areas."

The towns of Mendota and Firebaugh have seen high water and remain threatened. Flood releases are expected to continue through June or July.

"There's a hundred miles of river front and levees in this system, and it could happen anywhere-- we want to be prepared for that," said Brian Pacheco, Fresno County Supervisor.

Being prepared costs money, and the hope is the state will help.

"This emergency declaration allows the county to request aid from the state of California, whether that's provided or not, is still out," said Haugen.

The county's request for financial help to deal with the flood emergency will go to the Department of Water Resources.
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