Deputies have been able to mitigate rising waters after flooding forced some residents to evacuate their homes Friday night in Strathmore, says Tulare County Fire Department Capt. Joanne Bear.
Friant Water Authority spokesperson Alexandra Biering confirmed a plug for a water pathway installed under the Friant-Kern Canal failed, allowing the water from Frazier Creek to flow through and into residences.
Tulare County’s leach pipe going under the canal had a failure in the back flow valve due to a lot of dirt and gravel, said Tulare County Sheriff’s Office spoksperson, Ashley Ritchie.
Friazer Creek is usually pumped by two Tulare County pumps over the top of the Avenue 196 bridge and sent downstream into a holding pond near Highway 65. Before these new pumps were installed, the creek would drain past the canal through undershoots into a flooding basin, which are now residences, Biering said.
The Friant-Kern Canal itself was not a contributing factor in the flooding.
The water levels decreased between 1 a.m to 2 a.m., but some ares are still affected by the water, said Capt. Bear.
Deputies located a major flooding problem around midnight where the water was moving a southwest direction to Road 232 and Taylor Road between the 194 and 196 Avenues.
A voluntary evacuation took place at the time.
The Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Strathmore High School for residents. Eight families from Porterville were given a place to stay overnight by The Red Cross as crews pumped out water, says Capt. Bear.