Prepare for a flood of new levee work

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 0:10 AM

Those rivers also are a threat. The feeble El Niño and years of drought notwithstanding, Sacramento remains the most flood-prone U. S. city this side of New Orleans.

Prepare for a flood of new levee work

Much of Sacramento’s charm flows from the American and Sacramento rivers. Those rivers also are a threat.

The feeble El Niño and years of drought notwithstanding, Sacramento remains the most flood-prone U. S. city this side of New Orleans. For all the levee work that's been completed – $2 billion worth since one thousand nine hundred ninety – .

On Thursday, the will meet to consider calling again on property owners in the region’s flood-prone areas to vote to dig a small deeper.

If the board approves the vote, as seems likely, ballots would be mailed on April twenty-nine to property owners in flood zones. They’d have forty-five days to cast their votes. The flood control agency plans to keep meetings in May to clarify the costs and benefits of the assessment.

The necessity for reinforced levees is obvious, as , when flooding killed several people and forced the evacuation of thousands, or in one thousand nine hundred ninety-seventh when raging water topped river levees.

Some Natomas residents may protest that they’ve already paid for eighteen miles of levee work, and shouldn’t be expected to pay again. But another twenty-four miles of Natomas levees necessity upgrading, and tighter state and federal requirements are adding to costs.

Other work also is needed along the Sacramento and American rivers from Folsom Dam to the Pocket, and down to S Sacramento, which is subject to flooding from Strawberry and Morrison creeks and various tributaries.

Flood control experts declare a levee breach could flood the Pocket, Land Park, River Park and Natomas within an hour. Water could be twenty feet deep in parts of the city.

CA law requires that property owners who'd be direct beneficiaries of the levee work bear the cost, even though anyone who drives on freeways or flies out of Sacramento International Airport would benefit.

The current average assessment for flood control of $57 would rise to $99, higher or lower in some areas depending on the type of land and the cost of the improvements.

Assessments would vary depending on the property’s location and its zoning. Farmland would pay relatively little. Developed industrial, commercial and residential property would pay more.

The extra fees would generate $250 million for construction spread over thirty years, plus $121 million for operations and maintenance. The state and feds would match locals’ outlay by more than six to one, for a total estimated cost of $3.6 billion.

The goal is to defend all areas in flood zones against 200-year floods by two thousand twenty-five, a requirement of state law. The alternative – rejection of the levee – could result in a and higher flood insurance premiums for property owners.

Flood control work isn’t glamorous, love a new sports arena, or interesting, love a striking piece of public art. It’s scarcely noticed, unlike, say, a repaved freeway or a new overpass.

Levee work is more love insurance. Number wish wants to spend money to insure against a disaster that may not happen any time soon. But when the deluge comes – and history tells us that it'll come one day – we’ll all be happy when the levees hold.

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