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Residents of Allensworth, CA organize a community-based flood relief effort

The historic town of Allensworth saw some of the worst flooding of the recent storms. The town of 600 has responded by pooling their resources to help one another.
Allensworth school building
Posted at 6:57 PM, Mar 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-30 21:57:35-04

Allensworth, California, a community of around 600 people, saw some of the worst flooding in the Central Valley in the recent storms. Residents have turned the Allensworth Community Center into a command post and have begun coordinating a relief response.

"This is how we run the common center," said Tekoah Kadara, Executive Director of the Allensworth Community Development Corporation. "We figure out who in town is working, who is boots on the ground, what donations do we have coming in today. Usually the day before, we talk to the community members and figure out who's going to be preparing food for the command center and the workers that are helping the community. Who is distributing and what's happening for the day, what media is coming here for the day."

According to Kadara, the Command Center is run by the Allensworth Progressive Association, which is the governing body of the small, unincorporated community northwest of Bakersfield.

"This is what we do all day. Typically, we have 40 or 50 CalFire employees outside. You see all the sandbags out there? As community members come in, CalFire helps them. We take care of CalFire while they're here. We have community members com out and cook for us," said Kadara. "So it's a really beautiful thing how we are all coming together and working together to make things happen here. We haven't had all of the support in the world, but the support that we're getting from each other is what is making the difference here."

Allensworth residents say they didn't believe the initial flood response was adequate. In fact, according to Denise Kadara, Tekoah Kadara's mother and president of the Allensworth Progressive Association, says it wasn't very good at first, but has improved some.

"They've been helping us, so we've identified residents saying they're flooded, CalFire has been here to help. The helicopter has been here to go and drop the sandbags in the appropriate areas," said Denise Kadara.

As the snow melts, Allensworth residents are thinking about long-term solutions that can help their community.

"Work is being done and we're very thankful for it, but the final solution is to prevent this from happening. Come up with mitigation measures to protect our community so we are not flooding," said Kadara.

If you would like to contribute to the Allensworth community-led relief efforts, you can visit the Allensworth Progressive Association's website and learn more, including an updated list of items the community needs.