Evacuation orders issued for residents in Porterville area due to weather conditions

The Sheriff said he had 60 deputies and firefighters working to help evacuate people from about 100 homes.

Thursday, March 16, 2023
Evacuation order issued for residents in Porterville area
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Emergency work is underway near Porterville to get dozens of people evacuated from their homes around Lake Success.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Tulare County Sheriff's Office has issued evacuation orders for several areas along the Tule River due to flooding concerns.

On Wednesday morning, an evacuation order was issued for all residences, businesses, and structures, on both sides of the Tule River, from Richard L. Schafer Dam at Lake Success, in Porterville, to the east side of Road 284

Later in the evening, another evacuation order was issued for the area west of Porterville on Olive Avenue (Avenue 152) to Avenue 144, the Friant/Kern Canal to the Tule River, and Westwood Street.

Officials say the orders are impacting about 200 people.

Deputies are currently going door to door to tell residents they need to leave right away.

It was all hands on deck at Porterville Rock & Recycle earlier in the day.

Trucks and other heavy equipment had been moving back and forth from the property, preparing for the Tule River to possibly flood.

"We started on Thursday when they told us it was expecting to come over the spillway, which would increase the flow through the river," says Taylor Brown.

Crews have moved equipment away from the river banks.

They're also cleaning debris along the Tule River.

Plus, berms are being built out of heavy rock material and placed around the property.

"We're hoping that will divert that spillway water back into the river instead of going through the mobile home park or our property as well," Brown said.

Brown says she's never seen the Tule River so high, which is why they're doing what they can to protect their property but also other areas in the evacuation zone.

We went to the mobile home park, and it appears most people have evacuated. We're told by residents who chose to say that many people left on Sunday, when an evacuation warning was issued.

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