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Urban Basins

The District’s local urban system for storm water drainage consists of storm drains, detention and retention basins, and pump stations. The system is designed to retain and infiltrate as much stormwater and urban runoff as possible. The District’s Storm Drainage and Flood Control Master Plan includes 158 drainage areas, each providing service to approximately one to two square miles. All but five of the developed drainage areas are served by a retention or detention facility.

Stormwater flows into storm drain inlets, and through a network of pipes to a nearby ponding basin. Here the water is stored to protect neighborhoods from flooding and to replenish the groundwater aquifer, which is the primary source of our community’s drinking water.

Local drainage services include topographic mapping, Master Plan engineering and facility design; system construction, operation, and maintenance; and engineering design services to ensure adequate drainage for new development.

Dams & Streams

The District’s flood control program consists of a rural system of facilities and operations which control the flows from several low-elevation streams that drain a part of the west slope of the Sierra Nevada between the San Joaquin and Kings rivers. These streams are collectively referred to as the Fresno County Stream Group.

The system is currently composed of nine major flood control facilities and many related streams and channels. The District is the local sponsor of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Redbank-Fancher Creeks Flood Control Project, which consists of five of the system’s major facilities. Through its contract with the federal government, the District is responsible for construction cost sharing, land acquisition, operation, and maintenance of the Redbank-Fancher Creeks project. The District is also responsible for construction, operation, and maintenance of additional, non-federal flood control facilities required to control the stream group, and for flood plain management.

Between the easterly boundary of the planned urban storm water drainage system and the District’s eastern boundary, there are approximately 175 miles of streams and channels, many of which are severely obstructed. The District operates the rural streams program to preserve, restore, and maintain these channels, and to complete any additional facilities necessary to safely convey storm flows through the rural area and the downstream urban area.

Agencies with responsibility or regulation regarding rural streams and channels:

Rain Season Sand Bag Information

County of Fresno
During the rain/flood season, the following road yards will remain open 24 hours a day. Empty bags are provided free of charge to County residents of unincorporated areas. You must bring your own shovel in order to shovel sand into bags yourself. For more information, please call the County of Fresno, Public Works & Planning Department, Road Maintenance Division.

  • Road Maintenance (559) 600-4240, Monday – Friday, 8:00a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

City of Fresno
City of Fresno does not provide sand bags.

  • Street Maintenance: (559) 621-1492
  • One Call Center: (559) 621-CITY (2489)

City of Clovis
Residents must bring their own shovel and fill and load bags into their vehicle. 10 bags per residence.

  • Public Utilities: (559) 324-2600

How To Prepare For Unusual Rain Events

Fresno County’s Office of Emergency Services has created a webpage with links on road closures, Caltrans and CHP, and a link to how residents can sign up for alerts from the sheriff’s office for emergency notifications such as evacuation orders.

Will Fresno Flood In 2023? Not Likely.

General Manager Peter Sanchez talked with reporter Gregory Weaver of Fresnoland about the record-breaking atmospheric river storms, what the impending record-breaking Sierra Nevada snowmelt will mean – and not mean – for the Fresno/Clovis area, and more. There’s also some great local water history included in the story. It was posted to Fresnoland’s website on April 12, and picked up in its entirety on KVPR’s website on April 14.

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