Lemoore city officials declare local emergency due to recent storms threatening city wells

By Ed Martin, Editor
City of Lemoore Council Chambers
City of Lemoore Council Chambers

Lemoore city officials today (March 24) officially proclaimed the existence of a local emergency due to recent atmospheric river storms that have created significant amounts of runoff flooding in a short period of time which city officials say could threaten local wells that serve the city's water supply.

However, city officials indicated that they have a handle on the situation and continue to monitor the wells. 

Lemoore’s emergency proclamation states that there is a threat of imminent flooding and flood-related disasters throughout Kings County, including the City of Lemoore. City officials say sandbags are available at the corner of F Street and Fox Street, Monday through Sunday, and city officials say If you have a critical emergency, to call 911.

Lemoore’s proclamation follows the governor’s declaration of a State of Emergency throughout California related to the series of atmospheric river systems that have impacted California. Lemoore, while experiencing numerous storms, has been relatively unscathed by rainstorms or runoff. However, local ponding basins have been filled with runoff but quickly evaporated or percolated into the ground basin.

Lemoore City Manager Nathan Olson, who is doubling down now as the city’s Director of Emergency Services, indicated that Lemoore’s local emergency revolves around some of the city’s wells that might possibly become contaminated by rising flood waters. However, city officials are keeping a close watch on the wells.

“There is the potential for five wells that could potentially be flooded,” cautioned Olson. “I want to make sure all wells are taken care of.”

Lemoore city officials are obviously keeping a close watch on them. “We have excavators and a dozer putting berms around the wells as a precaution,” said Olson. “We also have drones keeping an eye on the water levels.”

Elsewhere in Kings County and neighboring counties, local officials say they plan to divert the flow of rivers such as the Kings and other tributaries into the Tulare Lake Basin, where a lake once existed larger than even Lake Tahoe. It was often referred to as the largest lake west of the Mississippi. The last time rainfall and mountain runoff threatened communities was in 1983. The water was diverted into the basin, creating a new Tulare Lake.

City of Lemoore Proclamation Issued March 24  

WHEREAS, Section 2-4-4 of the Lemoore Municipal Code authorizes the Director of Emergency Services for the City of Lemoore (“Director”) to proclaim the existence or threatened existence of a local emergency when the City of Lemoore is affected or likely to be affected by the actual or threatened existence of extreme conditions of disaster and peril to the safety of persons within the City; and

WHEREAS, the Director is authorized to make this Proclamation when the City Council is not in session, in which case the Proclamation shall be sent to the City Council for consideration within seven days; and

WHEREAS, Government Code 8680.3 defines “disaster” as “a fire, flood, storm, tidal wave, earthquake, terrorism, epidemic, or another similar public calamity that the Governor  determines presents a threat to public safety”;

WHEREAS, the Governor declared a State of Emergency throughout California related to the series of atmospheric river systems impacting California on January 4, 2023; and 

WHEREAS, President Joe Biden through the Department of Homeland Security issued a Notice of Emergency Declaration on January 9, 2023, covering areas in the State of California, and on January 11, 2023, issued Amendment No. 2 to the Notice to include Kings County; and 

WHEREAS, the Governor again declared a State of Emergency on March 1, 2023, due to conditions of extreme peril to the safety of person and property due to the impacts of storms across California beginning late February 2023; and 

WHEREAS, recent atmospheric river storms have brought significant amounts of runoff and flooding to Kings County, surrounding agricultural lands, and throughout California in a short period of time, causing an imminent threat of mass flooding and flood-related disasters throughout Kings County, including the City of Lemoore; and

WHEREAS, with the impending large amounts of snow accumulated in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and destined for the watersheds of the Kings River, the Kaweah River, the Tule River, and Cross Creek, the City anticipates more flood releases from Pine Flat Dam, Terminus Dam and Success Dam and uncontrolled flood flows in Tule River, Dry Creek, Cross Creek, and other local streams, on both the east and west sides of the Valley; and

WHEREAS, these conditions constitute an extreme peril to the health, safety, and welfare of persons in Lemoore, and such conditions are beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of this City, therefore, necessitating this Proclamation of the existence of a local emergency; and

WHEREAS, City’s local resources are inadequate to respond to the imminent threat, and the resources of multiple political subdivisions of the State of California are required to respond to these conditions; and

WHEREAS, the Lemoore City Council is not in session, and cannot immediately be called into session. 


The conditions of disaster and extreme peril to the safety of persons and property have arisen within the City of Lemoore and County of Kings caused by the large amounts of snow accumulated in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, precipitation from atmospheric river storms, and imminent threat of flooding the City is experiencing as a result, and therefore, a local emergency now exists in the City of Lemoore.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY PROCLAIMED: By the City of Lemoore Director of Emergency Services that the State of California waives any regulations that may hinder response and recovery efforts and to make available recovery assistance under the California Disaster Assistance Act. 

1. This Emergency Proclamation is issued pursuant to the Emergency Services Act, commencing with Government Code §8550.

2. This Proclamation shall be reviewed and ratified by the Lemoore City Council within 7 days, or it shall have no further force of effect. This Proclamation shall take effect immediately.

Dated: March 24, 2023

Comments powered by Disqus