(Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Val Wallert’s last name as Wellerd.)
About 20 acres in southeast Clovis were flooded early Wednesday after a nearby canal overflowed its banks.
Water from Gould Canal flowed into at least two properties along Locan Avenue sometime before 3 a.m., said Rick Orrin, Fresno County permit inspector.
One resident on Locan Avenue, Val Wallert, 66, had three horses and a donkey rescued by Heart of the Horse Ranch in the early morning hours.
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Crews have been working in the area, widening Locan Avenue and installing a concrete culvert in the canal where it runs beneath the road. Water was being diverted around the construction area by several large pumps.
Orrin said there was no water in the canal at 5 p.m. Tuesday, and crews checked the canal at midnight and it was dry. Had there been water, the pumps would have been turned on, Orrin said.
Later that evening, water was released upstream, causing the flooding.
As officials Wednesday tried to sort out what happened, work crews were busy pumping water from the affected properties.
“There were about 30 pumps trying to get the water out of there,” Orrin said.