Flooding a major concern as Pine Flat Lake water storage dwindles

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The hot weather is melting the snowpack in the high country and it continues to force the Army Corps of Engineers to release a tremendous amount of water from Pine Flat Dam.


In addition to several mobile home communities now facing mandatory evacuations, businesses and farmland are threatened.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office is monitoring areas susceptible to flooding as water levels continue to rise. Thursday night, the Army Corps of Engineers was forced to pump even more water out of Pine Flat Dam, prompting flood advisories for communities on low lying land. More than 6 dozen homes are threatened.

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Many residents and farmers are on edge.

The water is also stressing levees downstream. Near Lemoore, workers with the Kings River Conservation District rushed to fix a 40-foot levee break that gushed into about four acres of alfalfa.

"It's an earthen levee so of course it's going to be sloughed away and erosion. And so what they're going to have to do is bring in trucks and try to backfill that quickly," said Cristel Tufenkjian, Kings River Conservation District.

That breach is now patched up, but there's more concern for other holes and the Conservation District is on an around-the-clock levee watch.
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