Tulare County Fire Chief Charlie Norman said the county is now in "recovery mode" following March 2023 flooding, as FEMA opens mobile disaster resource sites in Orosi, Springville, and Alpaugh. Source: Tulare County Fire Department

May 2, 2023 — Tulare County Board of Supervisors

Documented by Dani Huerta

What happened: At Tuesday’s meeting, Tulare County Fire Chief Charlie Norman provided an update on the status and response efforts regarding the March 2023 flood and said the county is now in “recovery mode,” as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) plans to open mobile disaster resource sites in Orosi, Springville and Alpaugh.

He said the Kings River continues to be a concern for potential flooding in Allensworth and Alpaugh and Anita Ortiz, associate director of the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, said that the FEMA’s disaster survival assistant crews will be going door to door there in the near future.

Supervisor Larry Micari said FEMA asked the board to share information about its mobile centers, the first of which opened May 1 to May 6 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Orosi Family Education Center at 40802 Road 128.

According to the county’s website, additional FEMA mobile sites will open at the Springville River Island Country Club at 31989 River Island Drive from May 8 to 13 and at Alpaugh Elementary School at 5313 Road 39 from from May 18 to 20.

Ortiz said that FEMA has registered 809 individuals impacted by the flooding in the county.

Arlene Diaz from FEMA and Mary Bradfield from the Small Business Association spoke about how they support small business through loans. She said 4% is the lowest rate available and the terms are flexible. 

Norman said the emergency operations center for responders was closed last week and is available on an as-needed basis.

And also: Tulare County Resource Management Agency Associate Director Mike Washam gave a presentation on the 2022 Annual Report of Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Dairies and Feedlots for 2021.

In 2021 dairies, feedlots and their support crops produced about 6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions, 3% less than in 2020 and 19% less than in 2013. The goal is to reach 40% below the 2013 levels by 2030, per SB1383.

Washam said that 21 alternative manure management projects are planned, with eight of those being currently operational. The total cost of these projects is $22.4 million. There are 55 total digesters, with 38 of those operational. The total cost of the digester projects is $232 million.

Emma de la Rosa, regional policy manager with Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, asked for more outreach in the surrounding areas and for the updated report to be made available to the public.

Up next: The Tulare County Board of Supervisors will meet again on May 9.

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