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New evacuations as storm brings California flood threat

FEMA flood insurance
Posted at 4:14 PM, Mar 19, 2023

New evacuation orders were in place Sunday near two small central California towns where a levee was breached following recent downpours, as yet another winter storm brought the threat of major flooding.

The agricultural communities of Alpaugh and Allensworth, home to a total of about 1,400 people, were ordered evacuated because of “the possibility of residents becoming isolated due to impassible roadways,” the Tulare County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

A flash flood watch was issued for parts of the San Joaquin Valley in Tulare and Fresno counties, as well as for Sierra Nevada foothill areas, said the National Weather Service in Hanford.

Crews worked Saturday to repair a breached levee along Deer Creek just north of Allensworth, a historically Black town in southwestern Tulare County, Cal Fire spokesperson Jazz Shaw told the Fresno Bee.

Rain began Sunday as the first of two storms expected this week moved into California.

The state has been hit with 11 atmospheric rivers this winter that have sparked floods and landslides, toppled trees and power lines, and stranded mountain residents in historically deep snow.