Our Town is in Trouble

February 16, 2006

This morning’s Sacramento Bee laid out a very disturbing piece of information. You can read it here. In essence, the story states that the part of Sacramento I live in (Natomas) is not protected from floods as well as the Army Corp of Engineers lead everyone to believe back in 1998 when they approved the building of thousands of new homes. In essence, a very light flood incident could end up with all of us living with the fishies.

Here is the implication of that study straight from the article.

In 1990, in response to the floods of 1986, the North Natomas area was placed under a building moratorium while $57 million worth of levee improvements were done. Seven years later, the ban was lifted. And in 1998, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers certified the area had flood protection exceeding the 100-year threshold. Estimates at the time put the protection at the 135-year level.

Natomas is facing a problem confronting communities nationwide, said Ricardo Pineda, chief of the state’s floodplain management branch. Within the next year, local agencies will have to provide evidence their levees can handle a 100-year storm. If they cannot, FEMA will impose building restrictions and insurance requirements on those areas.

But it could take FEMA up to three years to make those changes, giving local officials time to fix the problems, he said.

It is a dilemma likely to turn up in much of the Central Valley, Pineda added, because so many miles of levees have never had to prove their integrity.

This will be collosally expensive for those of us who live here. Who will help us pay for it is my question.



  1. Paul from Wizbang has been all over the Corps since Katrina. His latest describes the gross negligence that led to the unnecessary destruction of New Orleans. As far as wind speed, Katrina was a category 1 storm to New Orleans – it just brushed us – as opposed to the way it hit MS full-on. The vast majority of the destruction here is due to levee breaks, caused by the Corps’ negligence and maybe malfeasance.

    All this to say; it’s possible you may have enough info on your side for a successful lawsuit, which would help pay for fixing the problem.

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