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Flood Times Two: Flood Watch and Advisory for Valley, Sierra



Madera County Sheriff's Office helps resupply a North Fork subdivision cut off by a road wash-out. (Facebook/Madera County SO)
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The moisture-dense storm soaking the Valley and Sierra on Tuesday has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood advisory in addition to a flood watch that’s been in effect since Sunday.

Heavy rain — the Valley’s forecast is for as much as 1.5 inches rain, and 3 to 6 inches for the Sierra — could create localized flooding, said Jim Brusda, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford. The flood advisory, which covers the entire Valley from north of Merced to south of Bakersfield, is scheduled to expire at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Brusda said the main message from the National Weather Service continues to be: Avoid flooded roadways. “Turn around, don’t drown.”

There is a potential for thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon, but they are unlikely to be similar to the violent ones that raked parts of the Valley on Sunday, Brusda said.

The flood watch will remain in effect through at least 10 a.m. Wednesday as rain continues to melt snow in the lower Sierra, adding that runoff to the water pooling in the Valley from Tuesday’s storm.

Tulare County Dams Are Stable: Officials

Tulare County officials announced Monday that Lake Success and Lake Kaweah were nearing capacity and the dam operators would be opening spillways to manage water levels.

In response to community concerns about the dams’ safety, county officials said that both are stable and operating as designed, and that the opening of the spillways is normal under these circumstances.

But uncontrolled rivers are already doing some damage. The Tule River overtopped its banks last Friday and flooded a Springville neighborhood, as seen in this Twitter post of a drone video.

Madera County officials resupplied a neighborhood that had been cut off by a road wash-out on Tuesday. Residents of the Kinsman Flat subdivision in North Fork, who were under a shelter-in-place order, had sought assistance from the Madera County Sheriff’s Office to obtain food, animal feed, hay, and wood.

The sheriff’s office coordinated a food drop-off at Gnarly Carrot Grocery Store in North Fork. The American Red Cross donated a truckload of food and supplies, and residents ordered food and animal supplies from local stores including Gnarly Carrot and Box Feed.

Deputies then joined with community members to ferry the supplies to the cut-off community.

Snow continues to fall in the Sierra’s higher elevations, as this recent photo of a Huntington Lake cabin illustrates. (Special to GV Wire) to

Next Big Storm

After Tuesday’s storm moves out of the Valley by early evening, the region will get a bit of a break until next week, Brusda said. A storm forecast for this weekend is now expected to bring showers instead of downpours, he said.

But there is “significant” potential for a more intense storm in the early part of next week, he said.

Highway 180 rockslide

A rockslide blocks Highway 180 between the foothills community of Dunlap and Sequoia Lake on Monday, March 13, 2023. (Facebook/Fresno County SO)


Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email