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Heavy rain, floods highlight Valley's sinking ground

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Read the transcript for this report below.

CRESENCIO RODRIGUEZ-DELGADO: The series of atmospheric rivers pummeling California have caused flooding and evacuations. They’ve also drawn attention to a longer-term issue in the southern San Joaquin Valley: changing flood zones. KVPR's Elizabeth Arakelian explains.

ELIZABETH ARAKELIAN: Some water experts say overpumping groundwater has caused communities to sink — including in Kings County.

LOIS HENRY: Well, now we’ve got this depression on the east side of Corcoran because of over pumping and nobody knows what's going to happen.

ARAKELIAN: That’s Lois Henry, the editor of SJV Water, a local nonprofit newsroom. In a report released this week, she says water districts are concerned about the damage storms can cause in some of the South Valley’s small towns where ground has been sinking.

Henry says South Valley leaders are gearing up with extra crews on hand during these storms. Some farmers are planning to capture the water and pump it over existing farmland in the hopes of recharging aquifers.

For KVPR, I'm Elizabeth Arakelian.

Elizabeth Arakelian is the host of All Things Considered. A Valley native, Elizabeth earned her bachelor's degree in English Language Literatures from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her master's degree in journalism from New York University. She has covered a range of beats. Her agriculture reporting for the Turlock Journal earned her a first place award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. While in graduate school she covered the New Hampshire Primary for NBC Owned Television Stations and subsequently worked as a television ratings analyst for the company's business news network, CNBC. Upon returning to California, her role as a higher education public relations professional reconnected her to the Valley's media scene. She is happy to be back to her journalism roots as the local host of All Things Considered.