Wednesday May 24, 2023

San Francisco Chronicle

Tulare Lake, the historical lake that surprisingly reemerged in the San Joaquin Valley with this year’s wet weather, could grow to a peak of 182 square miles next week, nearly the size of Lake Tahoe.

Even so, the new state flood projections released on Monday don’t call for the worst-case scenarios that had anticipated the lake getting much bigger, inundating more fields of cotton, tomatoes and pistachios as well as the Kings County city of Corcoran.

The slow melting of snow from the nearby Sierra Nevada and efforts to capture the mountain runoff are the reason for a smaller-than-expected bump in lake size. The lake was about 160 square miles early this month.

“We have been very lucky as to how this has played out,” said Brian Ferguson, spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “Our greatest fear was that a hot storm would come on top of this snowpack, and that has not happened.”

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