Wednesday, March 15, 2023

California deals with surging rivers, sliding rocks and flooded towns as storm passes


Surging rivers. Sliding rocks. Flooded towns.

The 11th atmospheric river storm of the season left a trail of soggy misery in California as it broke decades-old rainfall records and breached levees this week.

In the Tulare County city of Porterville, residents on both sides of the Tule River were ordered to evacuate Wednesday morning as levels rose at Lake Success, sending water running over the spillway at Schafer Dam.

"Right now the dam is in good working order — there's no threat to the structure of the dam — but we have significant water coming off of the spillway," said Carrie Monteiro, a spokeswoman for the Tulare County Emergency Operations Center.

Lake Success saw a significant increase in inflows overnight, peaking at nearly 19,800 cubic feet of water rushing in per second Wednesday morning, according to state data. Visalia and Porterville have declared a state of emergency.

The increased flow from the spillway is adding more water to the river and tributaries below, both of which are already full from the last storm, Monteiro said, adding that there is "flood concern."...more

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