Downpour floods Visalia neighborhood, freeway interchange

A drenching rain early Sunday caused localized flooding in Visalia and other areas of Tulare County.

As much as 1 1/2  inches of rain fell in some areas, according to the National Weather Service, and flooding with two feet of water – and deep mud – was reported at the interchange at Highway 198 and Highway 99 near Visalia.

Debris in the culvert where Mill Creek passes under Preston Street caused water in the creek to overflow around 7:30 a.m. and threaten several homes in the neighborhood, according to the Visalia Fire Department. Neighborhood residents began trying to remove some of the debris until a city public works crew arrived with a backhoe to clear the channel. Water caused minor damage to three homes on Crowley Avenue, the Fire Department said.

Visalia received 1.25 inches of rain, Tulare recorded 1.08 inches, and Kaweah Dam had 1.53 inches, according to the weather service.

Weather service meteorologist Jim Dudley said that it was unusual for the amount of rainfall to occur so fast – nearly an inch in an hour or two, with the majority of the rain falling early Sunday morning.

In Fresno, Madera and Hanford, just a trace of rain was reported Sunday. Dry weather will return to the region on Monday, with daytime temperatures on the cool side, the weather service says.