Reservoirs prepared to hold more water as storm brings heavy rainfall to the Valley

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Friday, January 6, 2023
Reservoirs prepared to hold more water as storm brings heavy rainfall to the Valley
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As a powerful series of storms hit California, reservoirs across the Valley are ready for the heavy rainfall.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As a powerful series of storms hit California, reservoirs across the Valley are ready for the heavy rainfall.

The sound of thunder shook parts of the South Valley on Thursday as the latest storm moved through.

The wet weather is a promising sign after three years of drought.

"Since the beginning of the water year on October 1st, we have observed 4.19 inches of rain, and the normal amount is 2.68 so we are above normal on this day," said Kristian Mattarochia, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

The National Weather Service says although numbers look great at the moment, rainfall and snow have to continue at this rate to make any real dent in the drought.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says reservoirs are prepared to hold the extra water from incoming storms.

Terminus Dam at Kaweah Lake has a capacity of 185,000 acre-feet and is currently filled to 47,800 acre-feet.

"We are coordinating with the water masters in those areas if we need to, in order to make releases, there are minimal out of Pine Flat. Terminus and success are much larger but nothing uncommon," said Jenny Fromm, lead water manager.

UC Merced professor Roger Bales says while dams may be ready to gather every drop of water in times like this, there is still a greater need for storage to get communities through dry months.

"Water storage is critical for our water security. Both water supply and flood control. Right now, there is the capacity to hold run off, but as we get to more storms, which we are hoping for, there might not be capacity," explained Bales.