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LIVE BLOG: Tracking California's winter storms

Published January 4, 2023 at 3:45 PM PST
A road in Woodlake, Calif., is closed as rainfall produces flooding during the series of atmospheric rivers.
Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado
A road in Woodlake, Calif., is closed as rainfall produces flooding during the series of atmospheric rivers.

Use these helpful tools to track storm-related incidents:

- Follow weather updates from the National Weather Service Hanford office. This may be the best way to track the storm’s path and how much rain or snow is falling. 

- Check power outages from PG&E and Southern California Edison. The map feature lets you see where the outages are, and how many people are affected. 

- Check road conditions using the CalTrans Quickmap. Different icons mean different things, so look closely. Webcams also let you see real-time conditions. 

- Follow CalTrans District 6 for updates on Twitter. You’ll be updated with major roadway hazards in the Valley and foothills. 

Editor's Note: This blog may not be monitored between 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. Check emergency websites in your area for latest conditions.

A new storm will move into California starting Monday

Posted March 24, 2023 at 6:09 PM PDT

A new storm will bring snow to the Sierra Nevada at as low as 3,000 feet.

The National Weather Service said moderate to heavy snow may increase the amount of snow in the Sierra.

The storm will arrive Monday night and last through Wednesday. Snow could be heaviest on Tuesday.

Up to an inch of rain will also fall in the Fresno area starting Monday.

Evacuation order issued in southwest Tulare County

Posted March 24, 2023 at 6:04 PM PDT

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office issued a new evacuation order today for an area between Highway 43 and the Kings County line.

The evacuation order was issued for an area already seeing some flooding near the communities of Allensworth and Angiola. The order stretches down to the Kern County line.

The evacuation is in place for the following boundaries:

  • West Boundary: East of Tulare/ Kings County Line: Road 16 also known as 4th Avenue
  • South Boundary: South to the Tulare/Kern County Line: County Line Road
  • East Boundary: Highway 43
  • North Boundary: Highway 43 at Santa Fe Ave

The sheriff's office advises residents not to drive into flood waters and not operate electrical equipment in standing water.

NWS: Thunderstorms in the Valley possible until 8 p.m.

Posted March 21, 2023 at 1:38 PM PDT

The rain storm hitting Tuesday is bringing heavy winds with it.

The National Weather Service also said strong thunderstorms are possible from 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Those storms could bring lightning, small hail and flooding.

Water levels are already extremely high along rivers, creeks and streams, the weather service said.

CalFire: Nearly 24,000 structures are threatened by ongoing floods in Tulare County

Posted March 20, 2023 at 8:32 PM PDT

The Cal Fire Tulare Unit says 23,921 structures are threatened as of Monday as floods continue in the region. Seven structures have been destroyed and nearly 800 damaged.

The unit also said at least two first responders have been injured responding to the floods since March 8. Rain is forecast to begin Monday at midnight and continue into Wednesday morning.

Currently there are evacuations across Tulare County in places like south and southwest Porterville along the Tule River, the community of Teviston along Highway 99, an agricultural areas south of Tulare, the communities of Alpaugh and Allensworth, parts of Cutler, Exeter, Three Rivers and Springville.

Evacuation centers are located at the following locations:

  • Exeter Veterans Memorial Building at 234 N. Kaweah Ave. It is open 24 hours.
  • Porterville College Gym at 100 E. College Ave. It is open 24 hours.
  • Ivanhoe Memorial Hall at 33209 Hawthorne Road. It is open 24 hours.

An animal shelter is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds at 620 South K Street in Tulare.
Fore more information on the flooding incident from CalFire, visit their Facebook page.

Flash flood advisory in place until 5 a.m. Monday in Sierra, foothills

Posted March 19, 2023 at 6:01 PM PDT

The National Weather Service says a flash flood watch is in effect for the Sierra Nevada foothills until 5 a.m. Monday as a rain system moved in Sunday.

Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected over already saturated soil throughout the Fresno, Tulare and Kern county region.

Travelers are asked to limit or avoid travel.

A storm system will stay in the region until Wednesday. The weather service predicts this will bring snow levels to around 5,000 feet by Monday night.

Snow levels will lower to 3,500 by Tuesday. View the predictions below.

Rare flood releases ordered into Tulare Lakebed from the Kings River

Posted March 19, 2023 at 5:41 PM PDT

Starting 5 a.m. Monday, flood releases from Pine Flat Dam in Fresno County will increase and send higher flows of water down the Kings River.

The rare decision to send water into the lakebed was made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as record runoff is anticipated.

The Kings River Water Association said flood flows are expected to carry water down to the former lakebed and arrive starting Tuesday.

Total releases coming from the dam will reach between 8,500 to 9,000 cubic feet per second in the next few days. The Kings River has run high since January as a series of atmospheric rivers added to the water flow.

The King River Water Association said Sunday flood releases will continue indefinitely — possibly lasting into the summer.

The flood releases mean localized flooding is possible along the Kings River path, possibly adding danger to those living along the river.

Residents are asked to monitor conditions and follow authority orders.

Evacuation ordered for towns of Allensworth and Alpaugh in Tulare County

Posted March 19, 2023 at 10:36 AM PDT

Allensworth and Alpaugh were ordered to evacuate Sunday as flooding concerns worsened over the weekend — and as rain from a fresh storm began to fall in the San Joaquin Valley.

Areas around the towns have flooded and the Tulare County Sheriff's Office said there was danger residents from the towns could become isolated or trapped in the flooding.

To evacuate: The sheriff's office asked residents to take Avenue 54 west to Virginia Avenue to 6th Avenue, and take 6th Avenue north to Utica Avenue, and Utica Avenue west to Interstate 5.

Allensworth residents are also recommended to take Palmer Avenue east to Highway 43, and Highway 43 south to Garces Highway, and Garces Highway east to Highway 99 north.

Northbound 6th Avenue is closed at Quebec Avenue, according to the sheriff's office.

See updated information from the sheriff's office on emergency conditions here.

On Saturday, SJV Water reported the banks of Deer Creek were cut in the middle of the night and sent water rushing toward the town of Allensworth. Read that story here.

Corcoran declares local emergency as fear of 'mass flooding' grows

Posted March 18, 2023 at 11:18 PM PDT

A local emergency was declared Saturday by officials in the City of Corcoran as floodwaters reaching the region were threatening mass flooding.

A proclamation issued by the city's Emergency Services Director says Corcoran, other communities and surrounding agriculture land has come under increased risk of flooding.

Flooding has already been caused by the fast-moving Tule River as breaches have been reported along its path.

But the proclamation says the growing threat of even more flooding is coming from all sides: large amounts of snow accumulating in the Sierra Nevada are destined for watersheds of the Kings River, Kaweah River, Tule River, Cross Creek, Dry Creek and other local streams.

All of those rivers drain at the Tulare Lake bed in Kings County.

"The conditions constitute an extreme peril to the health safety and welfare of persons in Corcoran, and such conditions are beyond the control of services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of this city," the proclamation said.

For Kings County flooding information, click here.

Flooding from Tule River breach reported south of Tulare

Posted March 17, 2023 at 4:53 PM PDT

A levee along the North Branch of the Tule River was breached east of the city of Tulare this afternoon.

City officials in a message said water was flowing into several industrial properties and flowing in the direction of Highway 99. This is near Elk Bayou and the Kraft plant just south of the city.

Some roads in the area were closed as a result. Tulare officials also said that currently there is no direct threat of flooding within city limits.

Kern County lifts evacuation orders, warnings

Posted March 17, 2023 at 12:27 PM PDT

Kern County lifted a number of evacuation orders last night. Here are the communities that are cleared.

  • East McFarland

  • Poso Creek

  • Sections of Wofford Heights

  • Kernville

For additional cleanup information, visit kernpublichealth.com or call 661-321-3000. For emergencies, call 911. Contact the Kern County Information and Referral Services at 211 for additional questions.

Yosemite National Park reopens this weekend with limited hours

Posted March 17, 2023 at 12:14 PM PDT

After being closed for more than a week, Yosemite National Park will reopen on Saturday with limited hours. Only the El Portal entrance along the 140 through Mariposa will be open. Miles of pedestrian paths have been cleared, but visitors are encouraged to avoid hiking snow-covered trails. The park will be open from sunrise to sunset until Monday. That’s when park officials say they plan to reopen 24 hour access to Yosemite Valley if conditions permit. Another storm is set to hit the region early next week.

'Several breaches' on Tule River force evacuation south of Tulare

Posted March 16, 2023 at 11:31 PM PDT

A large area south of the City of Tulare is now under evacuation warning due to "several breaches" on the north branch of the Tule River.

The evacuation order applies to areas between Avenue 192 and the north branch of the Tule River to the south and between Highway 99 and Road 152 in the east.

Sheriff's deputies were working to inform residents they must leave the area. The evacuation area is just south of Tulare, just north of Tipton and just northwest of the community of Woodville.

See latest information from the sheriff's office at their website linked here.

Evacuation order issued for strip of homes along Tule River in Porterville

Posted March 16, 2023 at 8:57 PM PDT

A strip of homes sitting just along the Tule River in Porterville were ordered evacuated Thursday night by the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

The section of the roughly eight homes is located on the south side of Rio Vista Avenue inside a housing complex at the corner of Date and Plano avenues.

A Red Cross evacuation center is located at Porterville College across from the river.

The evacuation is the third along the river as flood releases from Success Lake continue and the river keeps moving forward with high flows. You can view other evacuations at the Tulare County emergency website.

Evacuation warning issued for Allensworth, Alpaugh in Tulare County

Posted March 16, 2023 at 4:00 PM PDT
An evacuation warning was issued for the communities of Allensworth and Alpaugh, as well as a vast area in southwest Tulare County.
An evacuation warning was issued for the communities of Allensworth and Alpaugh, as well as a vast area in southwest Tulare County.

An evacuation warning is now in place for the communities of Alpaugh and Allensworth due to flooding.

The warning applies to residents, businesses, all roads, avenues and access roads around the communities.

An evacuation warning means residents should prepare to evacuate in case an order is issued.

According to the sheriff's office, the warning covers the following areas: Avenue 88, south on Highway 43, to Avenue 16, west on Avenue 16 to the east side of the Tulare-Kings County Line at Road 16, north to the Homeland Canal, northeast to along the Homeland Canal to Highway 43.

The sheriff's office says in order to evacuate, drive south on Highway 43 to Cecil Avenue, in Delano. Highway 43 northbound is closed due to flooding.

To view more warnings and evacuations in the county, visit the Tulare County emergency website.

City of Woodlake asks residents to stay alert for possible evacuation

Posted March 16, 2023 at 2:04 PM PDT

Homes along the St. Johns River and in the Riverside neighborhood in Woodlake should prepare for a potential evacuation, according to city officials.

Due to water capacity at Kaweah Lake, the Terminus Dam spillway has been activated to alleviate water storage.

This may cause the St. Johns River to flood and potentially overflow past its banks, according to officials. A message from the city of Woodlake notes this is a precautionary notice, but advises residents to stay alert.

Road repairs continuing on Highway 198

Posted March 16, 2023 at 1:47 PM PDT

Caltrans is working to reopen State Route 198 east of the Fresno-Monterey county line. A complete closure is in place for Highway 198 at theWarthan Creek Bridge.

Roadwork is underway at multiple locations west of the city of Coalinga and the Fresno-Monterey county line.

The road work includes repairing guardrails, reinforcing slopes, cleaning existing drainage pipes and hydroseeding. Caltrans reported a reopening date for the section of the highway is April 15.

Caltrans crews clearing debris from roadways as floods continue

Posted March 16, 2023 at 1:44 PM PDT

Caltrans reported that State Route 43 remains closed between Whisler Road and Pond Road in Kern County, and from Cecil Way to Santa Fe Avenue in Tulare County. Crews have been clearing debris from Poso Creek and Deer Creek to alleviate flooding.

Caltrans District 6 blasting crews will be in the Kern Canyon tomorrow for boulder demolition and removal on State Route 178 near the mouth of the canyon.

City of Visalia prepares for 'localized flooding' as Kaweah Lake fills up

Posted March 16, 2023 at 10:35 AM PDT

The City of Visalia issued a warning to residents Thursday morning that flooding was possible and to be prepared.

The Army Corps of Engineers activated the spillway at Lake Kaweah's Terminus Dam and water spilling was likely as the lake reached capacity, but spilling would remain minimal.

Releases using the dam's outlet were increased to 5,500 cubic feet per second to minimize the flow on the spillway, the Army Corps reported. The agency also reported the lake continues to have sufficient water storage space.

Public emergency officials in Visalia said downstream flooding would remain a concern with "localized flooding" as the dam was monitored.

Evacuations ordered for homes west of Porterville over flooding

Posted March 15, 2023 at 6:43 PM PDT

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office issued an evacuation order for an area west of Porterville Wednesday evening over rising flood waters.

The evacuation is from Olive Avenue, also known as Avenue 152, south to Avenue 144 and from Westwood Avenue west to the Friant-Kern Canal.

Sheriff's deputies are going door to door informing people they need to get out. The sheriff's office said about 100 people are impacted by the evacuation order.

The sheriff's office asks people not to drive through barricaded or closed roads or through standing water.

The order went into effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The sheriff's office had issued an evacuation order Tuesday night at the base of Schafer Dam.

For more updates from the sheriff's office, visit their website.

Kern County maintains evacuation orders, warnings as drier weather arrives

Posted March 15, 2023 at 2:46 PM PDT

With drier weather forecast for the next few days, evacuation orders and warnings remain in place in Kern County.

The Kern County Fire Department is monitoring water flow and snow melt within the Kern River Valley, Tillie and Poso creeks and the McFarland and Pond areas.

Residents are asked to remain vigilant as crews also work on cleanup from the floods. Find more updates at the Kern County Fire Department website.

Madera County residents asked to survey damage, but prepare for next storm

Posted March 15, 2023 at 1:36 PM PDT

During the brief pause from the rainfall, the Madera County Office of Emergency Services is encouraging residents to inspect their property and to prepare for an upcoming storm forecasted for early next week.

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office says that although floodwaters may be receding, residents should still proceed with caution. The office provided these tips:

  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe. 
  • Watch for debris, rocks and unstable trees that might be littered on or next to roadways or homes.
  • Roadways and bridges may be undermined and unstable due to flood waters.  If the integrity of a road or bridge is in question, turn around.
  • Remove flood debris from drainage areas and culverts when it is safe to do so.
  • Flooding may have caused familiar places to change. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. 

Storm resources and information are available at ReadyMadera.com

Evacuation warnings lifted in Merced County

Posted March 15, 2023 at 1:35 PM PDT

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office lifted evacuation warnings in Planada, Le Grand and Pira Drive in the city of Merced.

The sheriff's office is continuing to advise residents to use caution while driving, as there may still be flooded roadways throughout the county.

To report a safety hazard, call 209-385-7445.

Evacuation order issued in Porterville area

Posted March 15, 2023 at 9:50 AM PDT

Late Tuesday night, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office announced an evacuation order in Porterville along the Tule River, from the Richard L. Schafer Dam at Lake Success to the east side of Road 284.

In a Facebook post, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said deputies and firefighters would go door-to-door in the early morning hours to notify people in the evacuation zone. He estimated about 100 residences would be affected.  

See the full notice from the county below.

Porterville College closes campus for Wednesday as Tule River warning continues

Posted March 14, 2023 at 11:35 PM PDT

Porterville College will not hold classes on campus on Wednesday due to the ongoing weather conditions in the area.

Faculty and staff will meet remotely. In a message posted to the college's Twitter account, everyone is asked to stay away from the campus unless they are helping with the Red Cross efforts for evacuees on campus.

Porterville College is located in south Porterville along Highway 190. The campus is in close proximity to the Tule River which is currently being monitored for water flows as water releases are planned from Success Lake.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said water releases from the lake through Schafer Dam are expected to increase to 12,500 cubic feet per second by Wednesday evening. As of Monday, the releases were at 6,000.

As rain continued to feed into waterways, increasing releases will help the lake avoid overfilling. But the extra releases means some flooding could occur downstream.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office has an active evacuation warning for both sides of the Tule River for the time being.

Visalia monitoring flood risks, so far risk is low

Posted March 14, 2023 at 5:49 PM PDT

The chances of flooding in most areas of Visalia have decreased, thanks to changes in nearby water flows. No evacuations are anticipated in the city as of Tuesday afternoon.

City crews continue to prepare for isolated flooding incidents around waterways. Localized flooding is expected early Wednesday morning through the afternoon.

The city encourages all residents to visit their website to stay updated on conditions.

U-Haul offers free storage containers to residents affected by flooding

Posted March 14, 2023 at 5:36 PM PDT

The company U-Haul is offering San Joaquin Valley residents free U-Box storage containers for 30 days. The help is being made available to those impacted by flooding. The storage containers are 257 cubic square feet and hold up to 2,000 pounds. That’s enough space for furniture and items from roughly one and a half rooms, the moving company says. The U-Haul disaster relief program is available to new rental contracts and subject to availability. Interested residents should contact the company’s Visalia store at 1930 E. Mineral King Avenue or by phone at (559) 827-4575.

Tulare County community of Lindsay declares state of emergency

Posted March 14, 2023 at 5:20 PM PDT

The city of Lindsay in Tulare County declared a local state of emergency in preparation for the heavy rainfall and snowmelt runoff in Lewis Creek.

Although city crews were able to divert water and avoided major flooding over the weekend, water levels remain high in nearby waterways.

City officials are working closely with the county, the local Office of Emergency Services and the Lindsay Unified School District to prepare for “all possibilities.”

A “drying center” is available at the Lindsay Senior Center at 911 North Parkside Ave., and will be providing transportation to a permanent evacuation center as needed.

Landslide risk causes evacuation order for Kern County community

Posted March 14, 2023 at 5:17 PM PDT

Officials declared an evacuation order for the community of Wofford Heights in Kern County due to an extreme hazard. County officials say weather conditions and soil movement signal a landslide could likely occur.

The county is instructing residents to leave and find shelter away from Wofford Heights. The area is closed to public access.

The community is located just off Lake Isabella in the Kern County mountains.

An evacuation center is open at Kern Valley High School in Lake Isabella, 3340 Erskine Creek Road. Animal services is able to provide emergency sheltering for pets and other companion animals.

For updates, visit the Kern County Fire Department website.

Public not allowed along San Joaquin, Kings rivers over water level concerns

Posted March 14, 2023 at 2:48 PM PDT

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has closed public access to the Kings River from Pine Flat Dam to the Tulare and Kings county lines.

Additionally, The San Joaquin River is closed to the public from Millerton Dam to the Merced County line. Sheriff John Zanoni says high and erratic water levels are an issue of public safety.

“We don't want people out on the river potentially creating their own emergency and having to be rescued,” Zanoni said.

The City of Firebaugh is under an evacuation warning as authorities prepare for high flows from the San Joaquin River. Crews have worked to reinforce a 2,500 foot section of the San Joaquin River with a 4 foot high sandbag wall.

The California Office of Emergency Services and FEMA will also be providing 60 trailers full of emergency food, water and shelter supplies to be used for large evacuation areas throughout the central San Joaquin Valley.

The supplies will be loaded into 60 trailers that will be staged at the Fresno Fairgrounds and deployed as they are needed. The trailers have supplies for 20,000 people to last for three days.

400 emergency calls received by Tulare County authorities during storms

Posted March 14, 2023 at 1:43 PM PDT

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to ratify two emergency proclamations: a local health emergency due to flood water contamination, and ratifying all evacuation orders issued by the Emergency Services director.

Since last Thursday, Tulare County has received a significant amount of flood-related emergency calls. Tulare County Fire Chief Charlie Norman says the county has received about 400 emergency calls for service.

Norman said “there’s nobody that’s immune to these flooding activities” from Delano to the mountain communities.

The Tulare County Resource Management Agency is working on cost estimates from the extensive miles of roadway damage - which may be in the millions.

Tulare County building inspectors are working on classifying structural damage at 455 locations. At least 6 structures have been destroyed and 180 locations have seen flooding damage between 1 to 3 feet of water.

Woodlake, Visalia declare state of emergency amid storm, flooding

Posted March 14, 2023 at 1:20 PM PDT

The cities of Woodlake and Visalia in Tulare County declared a state of emergency through Monday, March 20, in response to the severe flooding caused by the winter storms. Some residents in Woodlake needed to evacuate their homes.

Officials said water releases from Kaweah Lake’s Terminus Dam due to inflow from rain and snowmelt could impact waterways near the city. The lake and dam are directly east of both communities.

The City of Woodlake has been working with the Fire Protection District, the Woodlake Police Department and CalFire to control severe flooding as well as implement an emergency action plan.

In Visalia, officials are working with utility companies to prepare for damages. In an announcement, Visalia officials said residents should use city services such as sandbags to protect their properties.

City crews have been working to address flooded zones. Some of the top priorities are to remove water, debris and mud from streets, sidewalks and homes.

The city noted in its announcement there is severe damage to homes, vehicles, private structures and public facilities from flooding.

An evacuation center is open at the Exeter Veterans Memorial Building, 234 N. Kaweah Ave.

Residents asked to document property storm damage for financial support

Posted March 14, 2023 at 12:57 PM PDT

Fresno County officials are asking residents to keep track of any property damage to homes and businesses incurred from the recent storms.

County officials say this information will help determine the extent of storm impacts from late February through now. The damages will then be submitted for potential state and federal funding.

Fresno County residents can find the form on the county website. Tulare County officials are also providing a form for residents, you can find it here.

Flood advisory issued through 12:45 p.m.

Posted March 14, 2023 at 7:59 AM PDT

With the arrival of the latest atmospheric river this morning, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a flood advisory for the Valley and foothill communities. During periods of heavy rainfall, minor flooding could happen in low-lying areas with poor drainage.

The following communities will see some localized flooding, according to NWS:

Fresno, Bakersfield, Visalia, Clovis, Merced, Madera, Tulare, Porterville, Hanford, Delano, Atwater, Yosemite South Entrance, Los Banos, Wasco, Corcoran, Lemoore, Sanger, Reedley, Selma and Dinuba.

Map outlining the flood advisory zone on March 14, 2023.
National Weather Service
A map outlining the flood advisory zone on March 14, 2023.

After a brief respite, Central California braces for more rain

Posted March 13, 2023 at 5:28 PM PDT

Skies are clear across the region today, but state and local officials aren't slowing down. Another storm system will hit the region late Monday night and continue through Wednesday morning.

Jim Brusda, a lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford, says rain will fall at elevations where earlier storms had dumped snow. That will lead to increased snow melt — and increased risk of flooding.

Today the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) announced that it has preemptively positioned emergency personnel and equipment in advance of the storm. Swift water rescue teams from Southern California will back up local rescue teams in Fresno and Tulare Counties.

A flood watch is in effect for the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding foothill and mountain communities now through Wednesday morning. Officials are urging residents to avoid non-essential travel during the storm.

Merced County Sheriff: Water levels 'looking good' but 'don't get complacent'

Posted March 12, 2023 at 3:36 PM PDT

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke shared an update on dams east of the communities of Planada and LeGrand on Sunday, saying the water conditions there are "looking good."

"They're draining as they should be," he said.

Warnke added more flow was expected from the mountains into the dams and rivers but room was being made to accomodate the extra flows. With a new storm moving in Monday night into Tuesday, residents should not get complacent, he said.

"I want you guys to be ready to go if it needs to happen," he said in a video message.

NWS: Tornado warning issued for Merced County

Posted March 12, 2023 at 3:14 PM PDT

The National Weather Service office in Hanford issued a tornado warning for Merced County Sunday that lasted roughly half an hour.

The warning applied to east of Los Banos and parts of Madera County. The weather service said residents reported funnel clouds in the area.

The weather service added that under a tornado warning, residents should seek shelter in an inner room without windows.

A separate tornado warning was issued Saturday in Fresno County.

Follow the weather services' updates here.

Evacuation orders remain in place for McFarland, Kernville in Kern County

Posted March 12, 2023 at 1:04 PM PDT

The Kern County Fire Department said an evacuation order issued Saturday night remains in place for east McFarland.

The order applies to residents who live near Poso Creek from Elmo Highway south to East Sherwood Avenue between San Lucas Street west To Highway 99, the department reported.

The evacuation was ordered out of concern about water flows in the area. The fire department said conditions have improved on Sunday, though the order remains in place.

An evacuation order also remains in place for Riverkern and low-lying areas of Kernville. Those were issued Friday. Higher water flow in the Upper Kern River has produced major flooding in those areas.

Find updated information from the fire department at this website.

Weather service issues brief tornado warning for Fresno County on Saturday

Posted March 12, 2023 at 12:31 PM PDT

The National Weather Service office in Hanford issued a tornado warning on Saturday around the Fresno County community of Mendota.

The warning lasted four about half an hour. The weather service cited reports of funnel clouds as it issued the warning.

During a tornado warning, residents are asked to seek shelter indoors, in the lowest floor possible, and in place away from windows.

Monday's weather outlook for Valley, Sierra from the National Weather Service

Posted March 12, 2023 at 12:02 PM PDT

Most of the central California region is getting a break from rain Sunday, but that will last until Monday morning.

A new atmospheric river is forecast to set in by Monday evening in the region. Rain will intensify into Tuesday morning, when most of the rain is expected to fall. The weather service has issued a flood watch for areas below 4,000 feet lasting until Wednesday morning.

Up to three inches of rain are forecast for the Fresno and Visalia area. Up to 6 inches of rain is forecast for the Sierra Nevada.

Snow at elevations above 7,000 feet is also predicted with the new storm, however snow below the 5,000 foot elevation will continue to melt.

A break from the rain may happen on Thursday, but the weather service says a fresh storm system will arrive by Friday and rainfall may continue into the following weekend. See the weather service's daily weather discussions here.

Saturday's weather outlook for Valley, Sierra from the National Weather Service

Posted March 11, 2023 at 9:50 AM PST

Flash floods have been extended in some parts of the San Joaquin Valley while the National Weather Service forecasts more rain on Saturday.

Strong thunderstorms were forecast between noon and 6 p.m. mainly for the Sierra Nevada and areas in the San Joaquin Valley between Stockton and Delano in the south.

The storms, staying mostly north of Kern County, could produce intense moments of rainfall. The heaviest rain this weekend was forecast for Saturday.

The weather service office in Hanford said there is "elevated risk" of of excessive rainfall in central California below 7,000 foot elevation.

The station also reported melting snow from the 2,000 to 4,000 foot elevations may cause additional flooding or worsen ongoing flooding in some communities and rivers and streams.

Evacuation warning issued for 'both sides' of Tule River from Lake Success in Porterville

Posted March 11, 2023 at 9:42 AM PST
An evacuation warning stretches from Lake Success to west Porterville along the Tule River.
Tulare County Sheriff's Office
An evacuation warning stretches from Lake Success to west Porterville along the Tule River.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office issued an evacuation warning for homes and businesses within one-eighth of a mile on "both sides of the Tule River" starting from Richard L. Schafer Dam at Lake Success in East Porterville.

The warning stretches down the Tule River down to Olive Avenue in west Porterville.

The sheriff's office alerted that the warning is in place over concern on the amount of water entering Lake Success from rain and snowmelt. The office reported water levels are predicted to reach the dam's spillway.

An evacuation warning means there is potential threat to life and property. Those who require time to leave should prepare right away.

View more evacuation warnings and orders in Tulare County here.

Evacuation order issued for tiny community along Highway 99

Posted March 11, 2023 at 9:33 AM PST

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office issued an evacuation order for the tiny community of Teviston, between Earlimart and Pixley along Highway 99.

The sheriff's office put out a message on Facebook saying the order was in place for "all homes and businesses south of Avenue 84, south on Road 128 and Road 130 to Deer Creek, and along the north bank of Deer Creek to Road 140, north on Road 140 to Avenue 84, and all roads and avenues in between."

The order was issued due to increased river flow along Deer Creek, just south of the community.

View more evacuation orders in Tulare County here.

Flash flood warnings across the Valley to last until late Friday evening. Here are locations

Posted March 10, 2023 at 8:34 PM PST

The National Weather Service office in Hanford issued a flash flood warning that could produce life-threatening conditions in several locations. Below are locations and the time the weather service expects for the warning to expire.

Northeastern Kern County and southeastern Tulare County warning lasting until 9 p.m.

Areas include: Bodfish, Lake Isabella, Riverkern, Kernville and Wofford Heights. The warning includes the following streams and drainages: Bull Run Creek, Kern River, Caldwell Creek, Erskine Creek, Brush Creek, Cannell Creek, Tobias Creek, South Creek, Tillie Creek, South Fork Kern River, Bodfish Creek, Corral Creek and Salmon Creek.

Central Madera County and central Mariposa County lasting until 9:15 p.m.

Areas include: Yosemite South Entrance, Bootjack, Mariposa, Metcalf Gap, Jerseydale, Ahwahnee, Wawona Campground, Wawona Vistor Center, Fish Camp, Wawona and Mariposa Grove.

Northern Fresno County, central Madera County, south central Mariposa County lasting until 10 p.m.

Areas include: Oakhurst, Yosemite Lakes, Crane Valley Reservoir, North Fork, Bass Lake, Peckinpah, Batterson, Bass Lake Ranger District, Poison Ridge, Coarsegold, Chilkoot Meadow, Auberry, Nature Point, Ahwahnee, Minarets, Shaver Lake and Huntington Lake.

South central Tulare County lasting until 9:30 p.m.

Areas include: Porterville, East Porterville, Poplar-Cotton Center, Woodville, Springville, Oak Opening and Camp Nelson.

Some tips from the weather service when you are under a flash flood warning:

- Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of flooding.
- Stay away or be swept away. River banks and culverts can become unstable and unsafe.

New evacuation center location opens in Lake Isabella

Posted March 10, 2023 at 6:07 PM PST

An evacuation center is open at Kern Valley High School, 3340 Erskine Creek Road in Lake Isabella. The previous evacuation center at the Lake Isabella Senior Center is closed. It’s unclear for how long the high school location will stay open.

Animal Services will assist with sheltering pets and companion animals at the new shelter

Evacuation transportation assistance for physically limited residents will be offered until 5:30 p.m. Those requiring evacuation assistance can call the Aging & Adult Services hotline at 1-855-264-6565.

If you have an emergency, call 911. If you have any questions about the content of this message, please contact Kern County Information and Referral Services at 2-1-1.

Army Corps of Engineers monitoring conditions at Lake Isabella in Kern County

Posted March 10, 2023 at 6:04 PM PST

For more information on storm resources, visit Kern County Emergency Services and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Lake Isabella in Kern County is being closely monitored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers amid the severe rainfall.

Current projections of snowmelt volume are within the capacity of the lake. The agency estimates reservoir levels should be between 230,000 and 270,000 acre-feet while the overall capacity of Lake Isabella is 568,000 acre-feet.

If current projections hold, the agency will not need to use either the service or emergency spillways, officials said in a press release.

But the agency encourages all residents to heed evacuation warnings from local authorities. This will not only help ensure safety but also prevent unnecessary expenditure of emergency resources during this critical time, the news release stated.

City of Fresno monitoring storm impacts

Posted March 10, 2023 at 5:56 PM PST

The City of Fresno’s Emergency Management Team is monitoring the storm’s impacts and staying in communication with the county and outside partners.

City officials said in an email Fresnois not currently experiencing issues associated with flooding from surrounding rivers and streams.

The city is urging residents to ensure that drainage on their property is clear from debris so infrastructure continues to work properly.

Evacuation orders issued in Cutler, Exeter by Tulare County Sheriff

Posted March 10, 2023 at 5:54 PM PST

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office issued evacuation orders for the communities of Cutler and Exeter.

Due to a levee break in the area, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux issued evacuation orders for businesses and homes along Road 124, south of Avenue 408.

Just south of Cutler, the Yokohl Creek has overflowed its banks, and Sheriff Boudreaux issued separate evacuation orders along Highway 198, east of High Sierra Drive to Yokohl Drive in Exeter.

Highway 198 is closed to eastbound traffic at Road 196. These evacuation orders are for residents and businesses along Highway 198 at Road 217, Badger Hill Avenue, Avenue 295 and Eaton Road.

Tulare County has established Emergency Shelters and Temporary Evacuation Points (TEP) for those in need of shelter, resources and information regarding the recent storms. They are open and available for Tulare County residents:

  • Exeter Veterans Memorial Building | 324 Kaweah Ave. 
  • Porterville College Gym | 100 E. College Ave. in Porterville 
  • Dinuba Memorial Hall | 249 S. Alta Ave. in Dinuba

Evacuation order, warnings issued in Madera County

Posted March 10, 2023 at 1:39 PM PST

An order to evacuate was made for residents living on the east side of Church Street in the community of North Fork in Madera County.

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office issued the order Friday morning along with a warning of possible evacuation at a number of other roads.

Those under an evacuation warning as of Friday morning include Lakeside Drive, Cedar Place, Deer Run Trail and Lazy Oak Drive.

Existing evacuation warnings in places like the Cascadel Woods subdivision and the Bass Lake Mobile Home Park are still active. You can view the full map here.

Kern County communities ordered to evacuate due to rising water in Kern River

Posted March 10, 2023 at 1:14 PM PST

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order in Riverkern and low-lying areas of Kernville due to rising water levels in the Kern River.

An evacuation order issued when authorities determine there is immediate threat to life.

Areas under evacuation are:

  • Tillie Creek
  • Wofford Heights
  • East of Arnold Spring Spur Drive
  • North of the Kernville Airport
  • South of Wofford Heights Blvd. 
  • North of Old State Road

The Sheriff’s Office is recommending residents travel from Sierra Way to Highway 178 to Lake Isabella from the evacuation areas.
A shelter location is open at the Lake Isabella Senior Center, 6405 Lake Isabella Blvd in Lake Isabella. Animal services will be available to assist in sheltering pets.

Evacuation transportation assistance for physically limited residents will be offered until 11:30 a.m. Those requiring evacuation assistance can call the Aging & Adult Services hotline at 1-855-264-6565.

If you have an emergency, call 9-1-1. If you have any questions about the content of this message, please contact Kern County Information and Referral Services at 2-1-1.

Sheriff’s Office: Tulare County communities ordered to evacuate after river rises 10 feet

Posted March 10, 2023 at 12:48 PM PST

The threat of catastrophic flooding has forced thousands of southern Sierra Nevada foothills residents to evacuate amid surging rivers caused by drenching rains and sudden snowmelt.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux ordered evacuations in Springville after the Tule River rose nearly 10 feet in a matter of hours Friday morning. Dramatic footage shared on social media showed flood waters rampaging down roadways and through homes.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service declared a flash flood emergency in Springville, Camp Nelson and Porterville through 1:45 p.m. Flash flood emergencies are extremely rare and are only issued when torrential rains pose an immediate threat to human life or of catastrophic damage.

Most of Three Rivers up to the Sequoia National Park boundary is also under an evacuation order as the Kaweah River threatens to overflow. Temporary evacuation centers are now open at:

  • Dinuba Memorial Hall, 249 S Alta Ave, Dinuba
  • Porterville College Gym, 100 E College Ave, Porterville

Up-to-date evacuation information is available online at https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or by dialing 211.

Southern San Joaquin Valley: Pay attention to flash flooding, NWS says

Posted March 10, 2023 at 11:58 AM PST

David Lawrence with the National Weather Service stated at a briefing held by California’s Office of Emergency Services that much of the southern San Joaquin Valley that is up against the foothills of the Sierra Nevada should pay close attention to flash flooding.

Lawrence said the conditions are developing fast and residents should stay alert for flash flood warnings through 5 p.m. Friday.

The intensity of the rain will lower into Friday evening, Lawrence said. But rain is expected to persist into the weekend and possibly into next week. He added residents should stay ready in case the situation around them changes.

“Take very quick action to protect yourself,” Lawrence said.

Fast forward to 14:35 in the video below to watch the full Cal OES briefing.

Evacuation warning issued for area between Newman, Stevinson in Merced County

Posted March 10, 2023 at 11:27 AM PST

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke has issued an additional evacuation warning for the Newman and Stevinson area near George Hatfield State Park, up to the Stanislaus County line.

The recreation area is located between both communities.

The county issued the warning due to an increased water flow into the Merced and San Joaquin rivers.

Emergency shelter locations:

  • Merced County Fairgrounds | 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Merced, CA
  • Atwater Community Center | 760 East Bellevue Road, Atwater, CA

For the latest updates, visit the Merced County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

'Life threatening' flash flood emergency issued in Tulare County

Posted March 10, 2023 at 10:00 AM PST

Porterville, East Porterville, Springville and Camp Nelson in eastern Tulare County are under a flash flood emergency until noon Friday.

The National Weather Service Office in Hanford issued the alert Friday morning. The weather services said the situation is "life threatening."

Residents in the area are asked to move to higher ground and avoid walking or driving through flooded waters.

Evacuation warning in place in Kern County

Posted March 9, 2023 at 5:54 PM PST

Evacuation warnings are in place for communities along the Upper Kern River due to potential flooding, Kern County fire officials announced.

Communities affected by the warning include Riverkern and low-lying areas of Kernville, between Sierra Highway and Burlando Road.

The Red Cross of Central California has opened a temporary evacuation center at the Lake Isabella Senior Center at 6405 Lake Isabella Blvd. 

Kern County Animal Services will help with sheltering animals at the shelter location. 

Additionally, Kern County activated its Emergency Operations Center to respond to storm impacts.

For additional information and  the most up-to-date conditions, residents can dial 211 or visit the ReadyKern website.

Evacuation warning in place for large part of eastern Fresno County

Posted March 9, 2023 at 5:44 PM PST

The evacuation warning issued for much of eastern Fresno County earlier this week remains in place.

The warning affects communities around Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake and Pine Flat Reservoir, and much of the foothill and mountain areas east of Clovis.

Earlier Thursday, Fresno County Sheriff John Zanoni said the county expects "unprecedented" rainfall and residents should be ready to go. He said anywhere water typically flows could multiply during the weather event.

"Make sure you are prepared to leave your residence in the event this warning becomes an order," Zanoni said.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office has provided an interactive map showing the affected areas. You can view the map here.

Evacuation warning issued for Planada, Le Grand in Merced County

Posted March 9, 2023 at 5:17 PM PST

Out of an abundance of caution, the Merced County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation warnings for the communities of Planada and Le Grand.

The Army Corps of Engineers anticipates flood control dams at Owens Creek and Mariposa Creek will reach maximum capacity tomorrow around 9 p.m. The agency plans to use a bypass channel to release water and keep the dams intact.

In a Facebook post, the Sheriff’s Department advised residents to plan ahead and gather all important documents, medication, device chargers, and animals. In January, the entire community of Planada was ordered to evacuate asfloodwaters reached up to 5 feet.

Emergency shelters are available at the Merced County Fairgrounds and the Atwater Community Center. For the latest updates, see the Merced County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Emergency shelter to open at Sanger Community Center

Posted March 9, 2023 at 2:21 PM PST

The Red Cross of Central California will open an emergency shelter at the Sanger Community Center at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The shelter was previously set up at Reedley College, but it was moved in anticipation that the Kings River will have high water flows from the rain storm.

The location of the shelter is 700 Recreation Avenue.

Pets who can fit in a kennel are allowed. A shelter for large animals like cattle or horses is open at the Fresno Fairgrounds.

Red Cross officials urged residents to pre-plan and keep medication and belongings ready in case they need to leave their home.

Fresno area storm will produce weather not seen since 1969, weather official says

Posted March 9, 2023 at 1:23 PM PST

The atmospheric river storm is predicted to produce a weather event not seen since 1969.

Kris Mattarochia, from the National Weather Service office in Hanford, said "everyone needs to be ready." Mattarochia said there may be high water levels in areas that are not usually impacted by water.

He said the Fresno area will see 2 to 4 inches of rain. Mountain and foothills will see 4 to 8 inches.

That's on top of record snowfall.

Heavy attention is being placed on the Kings River and the San Joaquin River. Public safety officials say the unprecedented rainfall will combine with heavy snowmelt and produce risks along rivers.

Watch the full press conference from Fresno County officials.

Governor adds Fresno, Merced counties to storm emergency declaration

Posted March 9, 2023 at 12:31 PM PST

On Wednesday night, Governor Newsom issued an emergency declaration for 13 additional counties – including Fresno and Merced – in advance of the storm system entering the region this afternoon. The preemptive declaration will help counties plan and coordinate resources and recovery efforts.

“With more dangerous storms on the horizon, we’ll continue to mobilize every available resource to protect Californians,” Newsom said in a press release.

Madera, Mariposa, Tulare, and Kern Counties have been under a state of emergency since March 1 due to last week’s storm system, which brought record snow to foothill and mountain communities.

Two months after series of California storms, an atmospheric river is back

Posted March 8, 2023 at 6:55 PM PST

Heavy rain and mountain snow is forecast beginning Thursday night into the weekend.

It's part of a new atmospheric river moving through central California — two months after a series of nine atmospheric rivers hit the state in December and January.

The storm is coming as areas of the Sierra Nevada have accumulated near-record snow. This warm storm is expected to impact the snow by melting it and sending water downstream.

The most significant snowmelt is expected below 5,000 feet elevation, according to the National Weather Service. But rain will fall on existing snow at an elevation of at least 8,500 feet.

Rain in the Valley is likely to begin at noon Thursday. Read KVPR's latest coverage of the storms.

Here's how much rain fell during January's storms

Posted January 17, 2023 at 12:52 PM PST

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released figures showing just how much rain accumulated over the past wet storms in California. Fresno recorded just over 8 inches of rain between Dec. 1 and Jan. 16.

The normal amount of rainfall for Fresno this time of year is about 3 inches.

A series of atmospheric rivers produced heavy rain for weeks across the state and the final storm that hit on Monday had mostly passed.

Cities in the Central Coast and Bay Area recorded rainfall over 18 inches, with Watsonville recording 22 inches. The normal amount is about 6-and-a-half inches of rain.

See other figures below:

Thunderstorm forecast for Monday afternoon

Posted January 16, 2023 at 8:17 AM PST

Most of the central San Joaquin Valley has a chance of showers from strong thunderstorms Monday afternoon.

The National Weather Service Hanford office says most of the rain on the Valley floor will come between noon and 6 p.m.

In the Siera Nevada, at elevations above 5,000 feet, the weather station also says between 1 and 3 feet of snow is predicted. The forecast includes areas from Yosemite National Park down to Tulare County.

The weather station says snow levels may also lower to around 3,500 feet Monday evening. High winds were expected along with snow in those areas.

High wind alert in Valley, Sierra

Posted January 16, 2023 at 8:02 AM PST

The National Weather Service Hanford office alerted of winds up to 50 miles per hour being felt in areas spanning the central Sierra Nevada down to the eastern San Joaquin Valley.

Communities like Mariposa, Oakhurst, and Fresno and Visalia and many in between were in the alert area.

The wind alert was expected to expire at 8 a.m. Monday.

White House declares major disaster in Merced County

Posted January 15, 2023 at 10:02 AM PST

The White House approved a major disaster declaration late Saturday evening for three California counties severely affected by recent storms.

The counties include Sacramento, Santa Cruz and Merced.

The declaration approved by President Joe Biden mobilizes federal aid to the state, tribal and local recovery efforts.

Together, the counties have experienced flooding, landslides and mudslides from storms that began in late December 2022.

The declaration also makes available grants that can be used for "temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster."

Read more from the White House.

Newsom: Need to 'future proof' hard-hit Merced County

Posted January 14, 2023 at 4:41 PM PST

Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke at the Merced County Fairgrounds on Saturday, where about a hundred people were being sheltered amid local flooding.

The governor spoke about the need to "future proof" Merced County, which has been hit hard by the recent atmospheric river storms passing through the state.

The remarks extended to other regions as Newsom said a particular concern at the moment was the Central Coast and Central Valley regions.

At least one more atmospheric river was still expected after the weekend showers. But already many, like residents in Merced County, are having to pick up from the damage left behind by previous storms.

Gov. Gavin Newsom to visit Merced County

Posted January 14, 2023 at 11:51 AM PST

Gov. Gavin Newsom was expected to arrive in Merced County at midday Saturday to visit residents impacted by the ongoing storms, according to his press office.

NWS: Flood watch for the San Joaquin Valley

Posted January 14, 2023 at 11:45 AM PST

A flood watch is in effect in the San Joaquin Valley due to heavy rainfall expected Saturday, according to the National Weather Service Hanford office.

"Pay close attention to the weather and be ready to move to higher ground quickly," the weather station tweeted.

At higher elevations, a winter storm warning is in place in the Sierra Nevada until 4 a.m. Tuesday. Travel was expected to be a challenge.

State and federal officials provide update on winter storm response

Posted January 13, 2023 at 2:37 PM PST

The Governor's Office of Emergency Services delivered an update on winter storm conditions today with officials from federal and state agencies.

Their message: don't get complacent. California is in for another another round of storms starting Friday and continuing through early next week. Officials were most concerned about the system that will arrive Saturday, bringing heavy rainfall in the lowlands and up to three feet of snow at elevations above 5,000 feet.

Cindy Messer, Lead Deputy Director at the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), said the agency is monitoring several locations that are expected to exceed flood stage over the next few days, including two in our region:

-Bear Creek at McKee Rd. (Merced County)
-The San Joaquin River area

Messer said DWR is monitoring the San Joaquin River because flood releases go into the system, and tributaries are currently "very full." She was not specific about particular communities or areas that might be at risk.

Other locations in the state where DWR expects flooding to occur:

-Sacramento River at Ord Ferry
-Navarro River at Navarro
-Russian River at Hopland and Guerneville
-Salinas River at Spreckels

Watch the full press conference here (video starts at 21:00).

Resource center for Planada residents opens at Cesar Chavez Middle School

Posted January 13, 2023 at 12:47 PM PST

Planada residents affected by flooding can now connect with service providers at Cesar Chavez Middle School. Red Cross, Merced County Food Bank, Human Services Agency, CalFresh, Merced County Behavioral Health and PG&E are on-site, according to a Facebook post on the Merced County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

Weekend weather outlook: Flood watch, more heavy rainfall in the forecast

Posted January 13, 2023 at 10:15 AM PST

Rain is expected to return Friday as another atmospheric river courses over the region. Some Valley and foothill locales will see showers during the day, but the heaviest rainfall will arrive late Friday night and continue through Saturday. It will likely bring more disruption in the form of localized flooding, downed trees, rockslides and road closures.

Valley and foothill communities are under a flood watch from Saturday morning through Sunday morning.

Evacuation warnings issued in Sequoia National Forest

Posted January 13, 2023 at 9:43 AM PST

In anticipation of this weekend's storm, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux has preemptively issued evacuation warnings for communities along Highway 190 in Sequoia National Forest: Sequoia Crest, Alpine Village, Redwood Drive, Cedar Slope and Ponderosa.

Highway 190 has already experienced rockslides and washouts due to earlier storm systems. Additionally, the sheriff's office says Great Western Divide (Mountain Road 107) will not be plowed in advance of this weekend's storm, and warned that residents could get stranded if the road becomes impassable. A Facebook post advised residents to leave in advance of the storm — or if they plan to stay, be prepared with several days worth of food, water and other essential supplies.

The evacuation warning is in effect for the area outlined in yellow in the map below. For the latest updates, see the Tulare County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

Evacuation warnings and road closures updated for Atwater and nearby communities

Posted January 12, 2023 at 11:50 AM PST

The Merced County Sheriff's Office provided updated evacuation warnings and road closures for the south part of Atwater and westside of the county.

View Merced County's updated map of evacuation warnings and orders here.

Road Closures:

- Gurr Road South of Dickenson Ferry Road to Sandy Mush
- Shippee Road
- Lone Tree Roa
- Sandy Mush Road to Nickel Road
- Sand Slough Road
- Turner Island Road to Highway 152
- Wardrobe Avenue, between Gurr Road and Thornton Road
- Buhach Road from Highway 140 to Bailey Avenue
- Vaughn Road from Gurr Road to Scott Road
- Scott Road

Sheriff: Planada residents can return home

Posted January 12, 2023 at 7:24 AM PST

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke has downgraded an evacuation order for Planada to an evacuation warning, meaning residents can return home. Per State Water Board guidance, residents should not drink tap water until they are notified it is safe to do so.

A press release from the county warned that with more heavy rainfall expected Friday night into Saturday, residents should remain vigilant as there's still some flooding potential. Shelter sites will remain open for now.

Read Merced County's full press release here.

For more updates, monitor the Merced County Sheriff's Facebook page:

Fresno County: updated road and park closures for Jan. 11

Posted January 11, 2023 at 1:57 PM PST

The County of Fresno provided this updated list of road and park closures as of Wednesday morning.

Road closures:

- The Four-lane of 168 into Shaver - 1 lane open with traffic control around the rockslide. Caltrans is escorting with a pilot car. Expect delays.
- Trimmer Springs Road (at Maxon)
- Copper Ave (East of Armstrong)
- Los Gatos Road (Derrick to County Line)
- Fairfax (Shields to Panoche)
- Huntington Lake Rd (168 to Big Creek)
- Hume Rd (180 to Hume Lake)
- Elwood Road (Boren to Wildcat) - Piedra
- Belmont (San Diego to Fairfax) - Mendota
- Washoe (California to Belmont) - Mendota
- Lyon (California to Belmont) - Mendota
- Shaw (Washoe to Douglas) - Firebaugh
- Douglas (Shaw to Bullard) - Firebaugh
- Bullard Ave (Washoe Ave to Douglas Ave) - Firebaugh
- Jerrold (Nees to Herndon)
- Mt. Whitney (Sonoma to SR33) - Coalinga
- Mendota and Parkfield Grade - Coalinga
- Auberry road (Completely closed at Alder Springs, but other areas are for local traffic only) - Auberry

Park closures:

- Lost Lake Recreation Area
- Choinumni Park

For the latest road closure information, view Fresno County's official road closure map here.

Central California will get a break from the rain today, for the most part

Posted January 11, 2023 at 10:59 AM PST

Most of the San Joaquin Valley and Sierra foothills will get a break from precipitation Wednesday, as crews work to clean up the mess left by earlier storms. The National Weather Service is forecasting a chance of rain in some areas, but projected rainfall is less than 0.1" in the Valley, and less than .25" in the foothills.

Wednesday weather graphic from NWS.
National Weather Service

Sanger evacuation warning lifted

Posted January 10, 2023 at 6:39 PM PST

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office announced this evening that the evacuation warning in the area of Highway 180 and Piedra Road in Sanger is no longer in effect. As of 6 p.m. there are no evacuation orders or warnings in place in Fresno County.

Tornado warning for Tulare County cancelled

Posted January 10, 2023 at 6:27 PM PST

The National Weather Service (NWS) cancelled its tornado warning in Tulare County shortly before it was set to expire this evening.

For the latest updates, see the NWS Hanford Twitter feed.

Tornado warning issued in eastern Tulare County

Posted January 10, 2023 at 5:14 PM PST

A tornado warning was issued for eastern Tulare County, near the community of Woodlake. Rotation was spotted on the radar and by people on the ground, forecasters with the National Weather Service Hanford office reported.

Residents were urged to seek shelter inside immediately.

Two killed in Highway 99 from fallen tree

Posted January 10, 2023 at 2:59 PM PST

Two drivers were killed after a tree fell on Highway 99 Tuesday morning and caused several car accidents. Northbound lanes were closed for three hours near Visalia. California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Beal says the storm’s high winds are likely to blame for the deaths and crashes.

Bear Creek in Merced reaches historic flood level, evacuations in place

Posted January 10, 2023 at 1:06 PM PST

Bear Creek, a stream that crosses through the City of Merced, reached a historic water level Tuesday morning. Water levels were recorded at 26.2 feet around 2 a.m.

That is above the creek's official flood stage of 23 feet. The previous highest water level reached was 24.6 feet in 2006.

Red and yellow zones show evacuation order and warning areas, respectively, in the City of Merced after Bear Creek surpassed flood levels.
City of Merced
Perimeter App
Red and yellow zones show evacuation order and warning areas, respectively, in the City of Merced after Bear Creek surpassed flood levels.

Water was flowing out of the creek and caused the City of Merced to issue an evacuation warning for nearby neighborhoods. The city listed the streets that are affected by the evacuation order on their Facebook page, and also updated a map of the area.

Red zones are under evacuation orders, and yellow zones are under an evacuation warning. The City of Merced also lists a hotline where residents can find information about sandbags, flood warnings, shelters and road closures. The number is 209-285-7563.

Merced schools, court services close due to area flooding

Posted January 10, 2023 at 12:22 PM PST

Schools and some court offices in the City of Merced closed on Tuesday due to flooding around the city.

Merced Union High School District and Merced City School District announced all district classes were cancelled at the request of the county's Office of Emergency Services. In addition to the schools, Merced County Superior Court announced some of its offices were also closed. They include:

- Charles James Ogletree Jr. Courthouse: 2260 N Street, Merced

- Old Merced Courthouse: 627 W. 21st Street, Merced

- Traffic Division: 720 West 20th Street, Merced

- Juvenile Facility: 2840 W. Sandy Mush Road, Merced

Evacuation warning issued for residents near Kings River in Tulare County

Posted January 10, 2023 at 9:28 AM PST

An evacuation warning is in place for residents living "within a quarter mile of the Kings River" along Fresno, Tulare and Kings counties. Last night, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office issued a similar warning for residents along the river.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office says the warning is voluntary, but should conditions at the river worsen, people should leave the area immediately.

An emergency shelter is open in Tulare County at the International Agri-Center, 4500 S. Laspina Street in the City of Tulare. People can also call 2-1-1 for assistance.

The county has also set up more information that can be found here.

Fresno County declares local emergency over storm

Posted January 10, 2023 at 9:17 AM PST

Fresno County officials declared a local emergency last night over the effects the storm is having on the area.

A county message stated an Emergency Operations Center is being operated and county agencies such as the sheriff's office and public works department are working with state agencies like CalFire and CalTrans to respond to the storm's hazards.

The county is listing resources for residents here.

Planada ordered to evacuate

Posted January 10, 2023 at 7:31 AM PST

The town of Planada in Merced County was ordered to evacuate early this morning due to flooding. Residents should leave immediately.

An evacuation center has been established at the Merced County Fairgrounds. The sheriff's department says they will go door-to-door to check on nearly 4,000 residents today. Additionally, if residents can safely get to the Dollar General, buses will be available to the fairgrounds.

View the evacuation order here.

Monitor the Merced County Sheriff's Office Facebook Page for the latest updates.

Evacuation warning from rising water issued in Fresno County

Posted January 9, 2023 at 7:48 PM PST

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office issued an evacuation warning Monday night along Highway 180 and Piedra Road in Sanger due to heavy water flow and rising waters. The sheriff's office said the warning applies to homes within the following areas:

-Riverbend RV Park
- North Wilderness Drive
- North Trout Lake Drive
- Wood Duck Avenue
- Little Beaver Road, and others

Heavy water was flowing into Mill Creek and Hughes Creek, which caused the warning. The two creeks flow into the larger Kings River. You can view the evacuation risks using this sheriff's office map.

Lost Lake Recreation Area closes due to flooding

Posted January 9, 2023 at 6:06 PM PST

Lost Lake Recreation Area, located on the San Joaquin River near the town of Friant, is closed until further notice due to flooding.

In photos on Fresno County's Facebook page, tables and barbecue grills in the park's picnic area could be seen partially submerged in the river's flow.

Merced County Sheriff issues evacuations warnings

Posted January 9, 2023 at 5:09 PM PST

The Merced County Sheriff's Office has announced evacuations warnings for these areas:

- Le Grand Community (includes the areas of South Minturn Road and Burchell Avenue, White Rock Road between East Childs Avenue, and East Harvey Pettit Road)
- Planada Area (includes Whealan Road to Cunningham Road and South Highway 140 to East Mission Road)
- South Gustine (includes East of I-5 to Highway 33 and South of Sullivan Road to Cottonwood Road)
- North Santa Nella (includes East of I-5 to Highway 33 and South of Husman Road to McCabe Road)

An evacuation warning means residents should prepare an evacuation plan and be ready to leave in the event of an evacuation order. Residents are encouraged to have important items prepared in a "go bag," such as:

- Car/house keys
- Wallet/handbag
- Cell phones with chargers
- Credit cards and cash
- Medication
- Toiletries
- Changes of clothing
- Legal and insurance documents

Sandbags locations can be found here.
To sign up for Merced County emergency alerts, visit the county's website here.

For the latest updates on Merced County evacuation warnings, visit the Merced County Sheriff's Office Facebook Page.

Madera County Sheriff proclaims local emergency

Posted January 9, 2023 at 4:15 PM PST

Following earlier evacuation orders for some Bass Lake neighborhoods, numerous road closures and reports of downed trees and flooding, Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue has declared a local emergency.

In a Facebook post, the sheriff's office also acknowledged a high potential for mudslides and debris flows from wildfire burn scars as the rain continues today and tomorrow.

Tollhouse Road closed near Humphreys Station

Posted January 9, 2023 at 4:02 PM PST

Tollhouse Road between Lodge and Pittman Hill is closed due to flooding, according to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

Merced County Sheriff asks residents with low-draft boats to help in case of flooding

Posted January 9, 2023 at 3:19 PM PST

To help prepare for potential evacuations, Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke is asking residents with flat-bottom boats and other equipment that might be of assistance in evacuations to get in touch with the sheriff's office.

Warnke stressed that his request is out of an abundance of caution. Residents who are willing to help in the event of an evacuation can call 209.385.7490.

CHP video captures rockfall on Highway 168

Posted January 9, 2023 at 2:23 PM PST

Video from the California Highway Patrol shows a large boulder falling over Highway 168 near Shaver Lake.

The boulder came down as a mud and rocks fell onto the section of the highway. Water can be seen streaming down the roadway. The rockfall shut down the highway at the top and bottom of the four-lane stretch.

"Avoid travel to Shaver Lake and above if at all possible!" the Fresno-area CHP tweeted.

Millerton Lake area power restored

Posted January 9, 2023 at 1:29 PM PST

Power to the Millerton Lake area was mostly restored by 1 p.m., according to the outage map from PG&E.

Scattered outages affecting hundreds customers are still reported in rural and foothill areas of Fresno County. See PG&E outages here.

Evacuation order issued for Bass Lake RV Resort

Posted January 9, 2023 at 12:22 PM PST

The Madera County Sheriff says there is an immediate threat to life at Bass Lake RV Resort due to flooding. People in the area are ordered to evacuate immediately.

12:40pm update: An evacuation shelter has been established at the Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Fresno Flats Rd., Oakhurst.

Monitor the Madera County Sheriff's Facebook page for the latest updates.

Flash Flood Warning issued for Fresno and Madera County foothills

Posted January 9, 2023 at 11:42 AM PST

These locations are expected to experience flash flooding:

Oakhurst, Peckinpah, Crane Valley Reservoir, North Fork, Bass Lake, Nature Point, Chilkoot Meadow, Poison Ridge and Auberry.

Streams and drainages that will experience flooding:

Rancheria Creek, Browns Creek, Shuteye Creek, Little Fine Gold Creek, China Creek, Owl Creek, Sand Creek, Chiquito Creek, Big Creek, Fish Creek, North Fork Willow Creek, Peckinpah Creek, South Fork Willow Creek, West Fork Chiquito Creek, Rock Creek, Ciatana Creek, Hookers Creek, Clearwater Creek, Gertrude Creek, Whisky Creek, Saginaw Creek, North Fork Sand Creek, San Joaquin River, Fine Gold Creek, Willow Creek, Slide Creek, Fresno River and Arnold Creek.

The National Weather Service advises moving to higher ground if you live in a flood prone area. Do not drive on flooded roads. The warning is in place until 2:00 p.m.

Mariposa County: shelter in place order issued for some areas

Posted January 9, 2023 at 11:07 AM PST

The Mariposa County Sheriff has issued a shelter in place order for some areas due to flooding and debris. As of 11:00 a.m. these areas were included in the order:

Carter Rd.
Jerserydale Rd. from Wild Dove Rd to Hites Cove Rd.
Anton Rd.

Monitor the Mariposa County Sheriff's Facebook page for the latest updates.

City of Fresno opens four storm relief centers

Posted January 9, 2023 at 10:55 AM PST

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer announced the opening of four storm relief centers at a press conference this morning. The centers will offer meals, cots and blankets and will be open 24/7 through Sunday, January 15.

Watch a recording of Mayor Dyer's press conference here.

PG&E: 1,900+ without power around Millerton Lake

Posted January 9, 2023 at 9:40 AM PST

Pacific Gas and Electric is reporting over 1,900 customers are without power around Millerton Lake Monday morning. The outage is being blamed on the weather.

The outage was reported just before 9 a.m. and is affecting customers in a wide area that includes the community of Friant north of Clovis. There was no estimated time to turn power back on.

A different power outage affecting just over 400 customers was reported east of Auberry.

Fresno mayor to address storm in press conference

Posted January 9, 2023 at 7:53 AM PST

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer along with City Council President Tyler Maxwell and City Manager Georgeanne White will hold a press conference Monday morning to discuss "proactive measures" the city will take in light of the storms hitting the area this week.

They will speak at 9:30 a.m.

NWS: Expect heavy rain, flooding in urban areas Monday

Posted January 9, 2023 at 7:49 AM PST

The wet start to the week is brining warnings of heavy rainfall and flooding in urban areas of the Valley.

The National Weather Service Hanford office warned of a difficult late morning commute as rain hovered over the region.

This storm system is expected to last until Tuesday night and produce windy conditions, as well as conditions for flash flooding in foothill and Sierra areas.

After a break, rain expected to stick around through the weekend

Posted January 6, 2023 at 3:52 PM PST

After a break from the week's wet weather on Friday, atmospheric rivers coursing through California will continue next week, the National Weather Service Prediction Center reported.

The weather agency said there is still potential for floods and dangerous mountain travel as new storms arrive in Central and Northern California. Rain is expected through the weekend until at least Monday.

Below is more information from the prediction center.

Merced residents: sandbag locations

Posted January 5, 2023 at 5:27 PM PST

Merced residents can pick up sandbags at these locations:

Power restored for major outages in Kern and Tulare Counties

Posted January 5, 2023 at 5:12 PM PST

According to outage maps from PG&E and Southern California Edison, some small weather-related outages remain in the region, but as of 5 p.m. service is restored for the thousands of customers that were left without power this afternoon in Visalia and southeast Bakersfield.

Nearly 2,000 without power in Bakersfield

Posted January 5, 2023 at 3:02 PM PST

A power outage in southeast Bakersfield left 1,727 customers without power. Pacific Gas and Electric is blaming the outage on the weather. Isolated thunderstorms were expected throughout Thursday afternoon and evening as an atmospheric river continues its path over California.

Winds of up to 100 miles per hour were reported Wednesday evening in southern Kern County. PG&E did not report when power would be restored to the Bakersfield customers.

Nearly 3,000 without power in Tulare County

Posted January 5, 2023 at 2:50 PM PST

Nearly 3,000 customers were without power in Tulare County Thursday as another round of showers arrived to the area. Southern California Edison reported crews were working on repairs at multiple sites.

The largest outage was reported in Visalia, where roughly 2,318 customers were without power as of 1:25 p.m. in the area of Houston Avenue and Dinuba Boulevard. An investigator from Southern California Edison was deployed to the area. A cause of that outage was not yet reported.

Other outages around the county were reported, some caused by trees falling on electrical equipment. At one location, up to 400 customers were affected.

Severe thunderstorm warning issued in Tulare County

Posted January 5, 2023 at 2:10 PM PST

The National Weather Service Hanford office issued an emergency alert for a severe thunderstorm in areas of eastern Tulare County. Quarter-sized hail and 50 mile-per-hour wind was reported around the communities of Exeter, Lindcove and Three Rivers. The alert was expected to be in place until 2:30 p.m.

U.S. Drought Monitor updates California's drought conditions

Posted January 5, 2023 at 12:37 PM PST

The U.S. Drought Monitor has updated its map showing the conditions of drought across the Western U.S. It shows California has reduced its amount of "exceptional drought" to zero percent since last week. Most counties in the San Joaquin Valley are still experiencing "extreme drought." But the severity of the conditions have reduced slightly since the map was last updated. A new map is released every Thursday. You can view the latest map here.

Wind, hail warning for areas of Kings County

Posted January 5, 2023 at 12:27 PM PST

The National Weather Service Hanford office warned hail and winds of up to 40 miles per hour were possible for areas in Kings County. The alert was in place for Hanford, Lemoore and Corcoran until around 12:45 p.m.

Portion of Merced County highway shut down due to flooding

Posted January 5, 2023 at 10:46 AM PST

A full closure is in place for a portion of Highway 59 south of Merced. North and southbound lanes are closed between Dickenson Road and Sandy Mush Road. Caltrans reports the closure is due to river overflow and flooding. There was no estimated time for reopening.

A break from the rain in some places, Thursday storms expected

Posted January 5, 2023 at 10:39 AM PST

Radar images from the National Weather Service Hanford office showed a break from the rain for some places in the Valley, but rain was reported in areas of Madera, Fresno and Hanford.

The weather station reported 24-hour rain totals for the region as of 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Here are some highlights:

- Fresno airport: .45 inches
- Shaver Lake: 1.92 inches
- Squaw Valley: .92 inches
- Visalia: .44 inches
- Hanford airport: .32 inches
- Bakersfield: .12 inches
- Madera airport: .17 inches

The weather station anticipated "a few strong thunderstorms" in the Valley for Thursday.

Kern County Mountains under a high wind warning until 10 a.m.

Posted January 5, 2023 at 5:58 AM PST

The National Weather Service has extended its high wind warning for the Kern County Mountains until 10 a.m. this morning. That includes the communities of Tehachapi, Grapevine, Lebec and Frazier Park.

Wednesday night, wind gusts over 100 miles per hour were recorded at Grapevine Peak:

NWS says the strongest winds have passed, but gusts could still reach as high as 70 mph over the higher peaks and exposed ridgetops through 10 a.m.

Flood advisory in effect for Fresno, Madera, Mariposa and Merced counties as storm bears down

Posted January 5, 2023 at 5:37 AM PST

The National Weather Service has extended a flood advisory until 10:15 a.m. this morning as heavy rain dumps across the region.

Minor flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas is expected. According to NWS, these locations are likely to experience some flooding: Fresno, Clovis, Merced, Madera, Atwater, Yosemite South Entrance, Chowchilla, Oakhurst, Bootjack, Yosemite Lakes, Madera Acres, Parksdale, Bonadelle Ranchos-Madera Ranchos, Parkwood, Biola, Winton, Easton, Mariposa, Planada and Catheys Valley.

Fresno County monitoring areas burned by 2020 Creek Fire

Posted January 4, 2023 at 5:20 PM PST

The County of Fresno and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office are monitoring the areas where the 2020 Creek Fire burned as heavy rain approaches. Areas in eastern Fresno County may see mudslides and flooding, the sheriff’s office said. The department is updating its map showing the risk for specific areas during this winter storm. You can view that map here.

Fresno County offers sandbags at five locations

Posted January 4, 2023 at 4:52 PM PST

Residents can pick up sandbags at these locations:

Biola: Area 4 Road Yard, 12855 West "G" Street (24 hours)
Caruthers: Area 5-2544 W Mountain View Ave (24 hours)
Fresno/Clovis area: Area 7 Road Yard, 9400 N Matus (24 hours)
Sanger: Area 8 Road Yard, 9525 E Olive (24 hours)
Auberry: Area 11- 33148 Auberry Road (7:00am-3:00pm only)

The county says to bring your own shovel.

Gov. Newsom proclaims state of emergency ahead of storm

Posted January 4, 2023 at 4:47 PM PST

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a state of emergency Wednesday to allow for a quick response and to aid in cleanup from another powerful storm just days earlier.

“We anticipate that this may be one of the most challenging and impactful series of storms to touch down in California in the last five years,” said Nancy Ward, the new director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Highway 168 near Shaver Lake reopens after rockslide

Updated January 4, 2023 at 10:00 AM PST
Posted January 4, 2023 at 3:58 PM PST

Caltrans announced Wednesday morning that Highway 168 has reopened with traffic control. A section of the highway south of Shaver Lake closed on Monday after a rockslide blocked access. Escort vehicles will assist drivers in navigating around the debris. Commuters should expect some delays.