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City of Visalia monitoring for flooding as Lake Kaweah exceeds capacity

Terminus Dam impounds Lake Kaweah in Tulare County.
Chris Gray
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Terminus Dam impounds Lake Kaweah in Tulare County.

Visalia city officials are monitoring for floods, now that water is flowing down the spillway at Lake Kaweah’s Terminus Dam. The reservoir reached capacity on Thursday morning. City officials are keeping first responders on hand, and are urging residents to sign up for emergency alerts from the city and county. Residents can also get free sandbags from the city’s Corporation Yard on Cain Street and from Fire Station 55 on West Ferguson Avenue.

Read the transcript for this report below.

ELIZABETH ARAKELIAN, HOST: Following Lake Success, Lake Kaweah is the second Tulare County reservoir this week to reach capacity. As water flows down the spillway, Visalia and other communities downstream are on alert for flooding. KVPR’s Kerry Klein reports on how officials are responding.  

KERRY KLEIN: Visalia Police Chief Jason Salazar says first responders were preparing for floods as of Thursday.

JASON SALAZAR: We’re just continuing to monitor information and keep an eye on our various water channels for what is coming from upstream.

KLEIN: Salazar says Visalia residents can sign up for emergency alerts through the city and county websites, and can pick up sandbags from the city.

SALAZAR: It’s free of charge to residents of the city of Visalia, and it’s limited to eight sandbags per person.

KLEIN: The police chief hopes for flood risk to dissipate within a day or two, but he warns there will be more rain next week. For KVPR News, I'm Kerry Klein.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.