With extended and heavy runoff expected from the existing Sierra snowpack, the Merced County Office of Emergency Services is advising the public of potential flooding along local waterways.
The primary areas of concern are along the San Joaquin and Merced river corridors and the Eastside Bypass. Several dairy, poultry and ag operations could be impacted by floodwaters if flows exceed the capacity of our local channels. The County has created this GIS map to help identify areas at possible risk.
During periods of high river flows, flooding can occur quickly. Livestock evacuations are urgent and complex processes. Advanced planning and coordination are essential components of a successful operation.
Dairy and poultry facility operators should be prepared with a plan of action if flooding does occur. This evacuation checklist can help in the creation of an evacuation plan. Additional flooding and evacuation information is available on the Merced County Agricultural Commissioner's webpage.
Please be aware that if flooding occurs, there is a strong likelihood that transportation infrastructure, including roads and bridges, could be impacted. Agricultural operations identifying livestock/poultry evacuation routes should have multiple options available.
Flooding will remain a possibility through the spring and summer months as water is released to protect the integrity of nearby dams.
Moving forward, Merced County will continue working with its partners to monitor potential impacts as flows released from New Exchequer Dam (Merced River), Friant Dam (San Joaquin River), and Pine Flat Dam (Kings River) work their way through our communities and out toward the delta.
Additionally, the Merced County Farm Bureau (209-723-3001) and numerous volunteers will be available to assist with livestock movement. In the event of an emergency, the Merced County Office of Emergency Services (209-385-7548) along with the Sheriff's Office (209-385-7445 or 911 during the event of an emergency) will be available to assist where needed.