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Tulare, Kern see millions in agricultural losses from floods

Water surrounds a dairy facility in Tulare County from severe flooding.
Tulare County Farm Bureau
Water surrounds a dairy facility in Tulare County from severe flooding.

Click here for more coverage of the 2023 floods in the San Joaquin Valley. Read the transcript for this report below.

ELIZABETH ARAKELIAN, HOST: California Governor Gavin Newsom requested a disaster declaration from the White House in light of extreme storms. The request includes help for Tulare and Kern counties. KVPR’s Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado reports what the damage in that region looks like.

CRESENCIO RODRIGUEZ-DELGADO: According to early estimates, Tulare County has suffered $60 million in agricultural losses from the storms and flooding. Kern County is facing roughly $72 million in losses. Those are estimates provided by the governor to the White House. The storms that hit the region earlier this month forced around 11,000 residents to evacuate in both counties. Some of those evacuations have been lifted, but residents have returned to communities where infrastructure has been severely affected. In the Tulare County foothill community of Springville, the wastewater treatment plant failed due to the storms. With flooding a long way from being over in some places, the California National Guard, Cal Fire and other state agencies are deployed in the southern San Joaquin Valley.

For KVPR News, I'm Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado.

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado is KVPR's News Director. Prior to joining the station's news department in 2022, he was a reporter for PBS NewsHour and The Fresno Bee.