Work on the Cross Creek Levee is about 75 percent complete and it appears a relatively cool beginning of spring may well have helped the city of Corcoran dodge a bullet. Unless the weather heats up rapidly, it now appears the town could be safe from catastrophic flooding.
Not hedging any bets in its efforts to protect the town, the Cross Creek Flood Control District (CCFCD) is completing work to bring the levee to a height of 192 feet above sea level. That elevation used to be the norm for the area west of the community, but now—with subsidence the culprit—that elevation is closer to Highway 43.
Dustin Fuller, manager of the CCFCD, said Monday conditions are looking good to prevent flooding. Work on the levee should be completed by the end of May. In the past week, the schedule slowed due to local rain, and Fuller said overtime on the effort has been curbed.
He cautioned that efforts could be ramped back up should conditions merit.
Currently, there is storage available in the three reservoirs that directly feed Tulare Lake. The Pine Flat reservoir on the Kings River has a capacity of one million acre feet; right now, it is 50 percent filled, with just over 500,000 acre feet held in storage. On the Kaweah River—that feeds Cross Creek—Lake Terminus holds 74,000 acre feet of water, about 40 percent of its capacity. Success Lake is at 76 percent of capacity, with over 62,000 acre feet of water; that reservoir feeds into the Tule River.
While construction on the local levee continues, a group of engineers is continuing its work to determine how the potential $10 million tab will be paid. The group was appointed by the Kings County Board of Supervisors and could have its “zone of benefit” report complete as early as the first week in May.
That report will be presented as a courtesy to the CCFCD board and to the board of supervisors. Supervisors will be charged with determining the assessment roll and according to Proposition 218, there will be a public hearing on the issue once an assessment amount for those in the district has been determined.
The issue then goes to a vote of people located within district boundaries, with a majority required for passage.