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Office of Emergency Services monitors Kern River flow

The Kern River's outflow is at 7,700 cubic feet per second (CFS) as of Wed, May 24.
kern river march 2023
Posted at 8:23 AM, May 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-24 11:23:23-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Office of Emergency Services (OES) has become the headquarters for all things water when it comes to the Kern River.

Kern County officials have already held several press briefings in the facility to address the snow melt and the ensuing increase in water flow.

The outflow is at 7,700 cubic feet per second (CFS) as of Wed, May 24.

County officials at the OES updated flood maps of Lake Isabella and the Kern River to reflect the areas in danger of flooding.

The green areas on the maps show what is projected to happen, while the blue indicates what is actually coming down from Lake Isabella when crews visually verified the water flow.

The real-world numbers are revealing a couple of trouble spots from Lake Ming to the Manor Street Bridge.

Officials say it's been a challenge to keep ahead of the "flow" of information, both good and bad. Kern County Fire Captain Andrew Freeborn says the OES will be staffed on a daily basis well into June to stay on top of every possible variable.

"[We] analyze the information that we're receiving. 'Ground truthing' it we call that. What we're seeing in reality, is that what we're projecting on our maps? Do we need to adjust our numbers? Do we need to adjust the coloring? What do we need to do?" explained Captain Freeborn. "We will continue to do that until the water subsides."

Freeborn says that the KCFD has spoken to everyone in the higher-risk areas. He says that residents need to plan for the potential of having to leave.

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