Residents preparing to leave after evacuation warning issued along Kings River

Friday, April 14, 2023
Residents prepare after evacuation warning issued along Kings River
As the temperature warms up, water flows in the Kings River and nearby creeks in Fresno County are high and fast-moving.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the temperature warms up, water flows in the Kings River and nearby creeks are high and fast-moving.

The high water levels have prompted an evacuation warning for residents in the Riverbend RV and Mobile Home Park, which is historically prone to flooding.

On Thursday, cars were still passing over a bridge that had water over it.

Kenneth Cagle has only lived here for one year, but he says he's not concerned because his home is feet off the ground.

"There's a lot of flooding that goes on here especially now because we've had such a bad year, but now we are getting what three or four times the normal," said Cagle.

Cagle says he's prepared to leave, but he doesn't want to.

Another resident says she is concerned not only for the access road, but her home that's sinking into the soil and causing damage like cracked ceilings.

Just miles away, homeowners along the Kings River have used sandbags around low spots and garages.

Gerald Vernon, who has lived in the neighborhood for 35 years, says he's used to the changes in the river, but he's still taking heed.

"Right now, it's so fast that it's really dangerous. Just stay out, stay out of the waterways," said Vernon.

Authorities say the Kings River will continue to rise as snow the pack melts and water releases are increased out of Pine Flat Dam.

Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office says residents who think they are used to these conditions should not get complacent.

"They know their property better than anybody else, they know what to look for if something is not right. We encourage them to give us a call right away so that we can try and get ahead of it and get the help out here to try and change any potential disaster from happening," Botti said.

Officials say those who live in the RV park should be preparing for possible evacuation orders.

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