Rain stopped but floodwaters haven't receded

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Two days of clear skies have helped, but parts of the south valley are still struggling with flooded streets.

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The intersection of Shirk and Ferguson has been closed for two weeks after the rain caused several large depressions in the roads.

City officials will soon send a camera underground to see how bad the damage is. Across the county people are still picking up after the recent storms.

County workers have been pumping water out of flooded roads near Strathmore since 2:00 a.m. Most of the water has receded but a steady stream continues to come down from Frasier Creek and into neighborhoods.

Tulare County Supervisor Allen Ishida was in Strathmore examining cleanup efforts. He says Monday's flooding across Orange Belt Drive was unexpected. "What's happened is a lot of the farmers have removed their orange trees and they've laser leveled their land so it's changed the course of the run-off so all of a sudden we get a flood down here to the north a half a mile which we have a lot more homes located here so it's a greater threat than before."

The sun's appearance on Tuesday helped county work crews clear out roads. Workers spent most of the day removing dirt that was dumped onto Orange Belt Drive on Monday to stop major flooding.

"So today since the waters receded we're picking up all the dirt we put in the middle of the road and haul it off," said Ishida.

It could be a couple more days before the road is cleared and re-opened to the public, and another month before the road is completely fixed. The county dug up Avenue 192 Monday to try to reroute flooded waters. Even though the rain has stopped, crews from local and state agencies continue to clean up trouble spots  like off Highway 198 east of Visalia, where Caltrans workers spent most of the morning removing debris from a large ditch.

Orange Belt Drive in Strathmore should be fully open by Thursday. Here at Shirk and Ferguson -- this intersection could be closed for another month.


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tulare county, visalia, flooding, storm, local, jessica peres
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