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Army engineers are closely tracking Tulare County lake levels

The spillway at Lake Success is already operational, releasing water from the lake downstream into the Tule River.
Lake Success spillway
Posted at 9:11 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 14:56:23-04

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KERO) — With another storm arriving, a lot of people who are concerned about flooding are watching the water levels at Lake Kaweah and Lake Success in Tulare County.

In a joint statement issued Tuesday, officials from Tulare County, as well as the cities of Porterville and Visalia, indicated the two lakes are nearing capacity and they expect both dam spillways to be operational with more rain in the forecast.

The statement also included the fact that the spillway at Lake Success is already releasing water.

Lake Success is only about 8 miles east of the city of Porterville and the water there is managed via the Schaefer Dam. Current numbers show the lake is 2,984 acre-feet over its regular capacity of 84,095 acre-feet.

US Army Corps of Engineers Spokesperson Ken Wright says that while the numbers may look alarming, the water level is actually sitting far below the top of Schaefer Dam, and that officials are monitoring the water level 24/7.

Additionally, Wright says that at midnight on March 12, water began flowing via the spillway downstream and into the Tule River.

According to Wright, Porterville has seen some flooding downstream in localized areas and they anticipated that. Wright also confirms that a project is currently underway to increase the capacity of Lake Success, and part of that project has been to widen the spillway from 200 feet to 365 feet.

The Army Corps of Engineers encourages residents to sign up for AlertTC, which provides emergency alerts from Tulare County and the City of Porterville, including alerts pertaining to Lake Success and Schaefer Dam.