By Joe Valente’s count, there have been as many as 40 days of flooding.
The vineyard and orchard manager for Kautz Farms says water has reached as high as six feet in some of the acres he oversees in Thornton. Currently, there's roughly two feet of water.
“Right now with the water we’re getting, it doesn’t look good for [the almond trees],” Valente said.
Kautz Farms grows wine grapes, almonds and cherries.
Valente says the grapevines can likely handle the water. His older almond trees, however, are already showing signs of distress.
“There’s no sign of bloom or flower going on right now,” Valente said. “It’s an indicator the tree is not going to survive.”
In total, Valente says Kautz Farms has approximately 800 acres affected by flooding in Thornton. In the Wilton area, flooding from the Cosumnes River has touched as many as 2,000 acres.
“The old saying, ‘You want to save it for a rainy day?’” Valente said. “We want to save it for a dry day.”
Despite the flooding – and the grim prospect for the almond trees – Valente remains optimistic.
“We’ll figure it out and try to move on,” he said.
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