Crews monitor water levels and levees as Kings River flows

KINGS COUNTY (KFSN) -- For the first time in a long time, the Kings River is flowing nicely and the Army Corps of Engineers is conducting flood releases at Pine Flat Dam for the first time in six years.

Currently, they are releasing around 4,400 cubic feet of water per second from the reservoir, which travels down the river into Fresno and Kings Counties.

"I would say around 14 or 15 years, I haven't seen the water like this so it's something to see out here," said Dominga Raya, Laton. "This is pretty much the start of our responsibility here at Highway 43 in Kings County."

David Merritt, Deputy General Manager with Kings River Conservation District, said flows in this area are around 4,000 cubic feet per second and there's a lot more room, as the river channels here have a capacity of 11,000 cubic feet per second.

"But you're seeing water in areas of the river that haven't seen water in it for a while."

Forty five miles to the northwest, there was enough of a flooding concern over the weekend that the Fresno County Sheriff's Office issued an advisory around Tranquility after concerns that a levee in the area where the San Joaquin River and Kings River meet might break.

Tranquility Irrigation District said as of Tuesday afternoon, it has held, but crews are constantly monitoring it.

Based on the current flows, Merritt said there are no flooding concerns in their jurisdiction. He said crews continually monitor the 144 miles of levees they are required to maintain along the river.

"So we're technically out there seven days a week right now, watching items, making sure flows are flowing without restrictions, looking for those items that may create an issue and we're dealing with those."

Both the Fresno and Kings County Sheriff's Offices are also keeping a close eye on water levels here in the Kings River. Because it's too dangerous, they say to stay out of the water at this time.
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