Kings River officials prepared for warmer temperatures and melting snowpack

KINGSBURG, Calif. (KFSN) -- A warm up to 90-degree temperatures right in the middle of spring is something officials with the Kings River Water Association prepared for back in the winter.

Water releases on the Kings River from Pine Flat Damn began in early March to accommodate spring storms and runoff from warmer temperatures.

"And there is going to be a lot of snow melting. There is no question. There is a huge snowpack above 9,000 feet that is going to be melting between now and the end of July," said Randy McFarland, Kings River Water Association.

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McFarland pointed out Pine Flat Reservoir is at 57 percent capacity.

That's necessary to make room for the melting snowpack and to prevent a major flood, such as the one that damaged portions of the Kings River Golf and Country Club back in 2017.

That year there was over 4 million acre-feet of water released, this year there is only 2 and 1/2 million.

"As a result of snow storms in the 2017 water year there was much more water that had to be accommodated and of course we did have high water conditions," said McFarland.

Several feet of water flooded holes of the Kings River Golf and Country Club along the Kings River.

RELATED: Dam operators release water into Valley rivers as rapid warm up melts Sierra snowpack

The course's board president said they recently added new pumps that pump water back into river.

"We've taken those and put the discharge pipes above the levee rather than going through the levee so there is no vibration. We felt like that was one of our main problems in 2017 and we also built up a few spots that were low," said Steve Safarjian, Golf Course Board President.

McFarland said those preparations and good management will prevent major flooding but ultimately Mother Nature has the final say.

"It is always future weather. How much rain and snow will we get for the rest of the spring and right now it doesn't look like we are going to get very much but you never know."
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