BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood urged residents to evacuate areas where floodwaters can endanger their lives.
“I’m serious when we tell people to evacuate, it’s because we are trying to save their life,” Youngblood said during a press conference Friday from the Kern County Emergency Operations Center.
“If they choose to stay there, we can’t get them to leave, we’re not going to back.”
Kern County officials said no injuries have been reported and no one has needed to be rescued as of early Friday evening.
All day Friday, extraordinary images of rising water from the Kern River were shown online and television. Sheriff Donny Youngblood said those pictures should be enough to leave before it’s too late.
“Take it seriously and find a place, someplace else to stay tonight other than Riverkern or Kernville. Your life might depend on it,” he said.
There has been extensive damage to property in the Kern River Valley. A local emergency order will be put in effect this weekend and presented to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. If approved it will allow for funds to become available to help communities affected by the storm.