April 25, 2023 — Reedley City Council
Documented by Ntsa Iab Vang
What happened: The Reedley City Council heard from Public Works Director Russ Robertson that the city may see flooding due to melting snowpack and learned that the city is taking steps to protect its sewer system.
Robertson said the city will be constructing a block wall around the Reed Avenue Sewer Pump Station to ensure sewer operations are not affected by any flooding.
“As you’re aware the river is running high and fast, in anticipation of forthcoming snow melt, the river will probably go higher yet and could cause some flooding issues in town,” Robertson said.
City Manager Ruthie Greenwood said they take part in three meetings per week with several entities, including the National Weather Service, Pine Flat Water Master and the San Joaquin River Conservation District.
“We’re very much coordinated in terms of flood response, unfortunately there is not a lot you can do to keep the snowmelt from melting,” she said. “But…while it’s 90 degrees down here, it is not 90 degrees up in the mountains, so yes we are seeing snowmelt, but it is not time to panic just yet; it may (be) in the middle of summer.”
Staff said there are no longer sandbags available for residents as they’ve been used by the city, but it’s possible more will become available in the future.
Reedley Beach and the Kings River continue to be closed as flooding occurs. Greenwood said they have already cited five people for crossing safety barricades to access the river and that they will continue to do so.
“This is just such a dangerous situation right now, the water is running so fast and it’s so cold,” she said.
She said the county has installed a device on the Olson Bridge that measures the elevation of the river and is accessible to monitor online.
And also: The council received a presentation about citywide fiberoptic network system upgrades from Frontier Communications Vice President Doug McAllister.
McAllister said the fiber network will offer 5 Gbps for about 6,600 addresses or about 90% of the total addresses within the city.
He said the work will start by March 2023 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. Residents pay for internet service and some qualify for low- or no-cost internet service based on income.
Up next: The Reedley City Council will meet again to begin budget hearings on May 9 at 7 p.m.