SAFCA Chair Phil Serna and Executive Director Rick Johnson were in Washington D.C. last week meeting with congressional representatives in order to garner federal support in advancing Sacramento flood control projects.
The week prior, Mr. Johnson was asked to provide testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The committee held a hearing on February 7th to examine the Army Corps of Engineers implementation of critical water resources policies.
Click here to view archived video and Mr. Johnson’s testimony.
The Natomas Basin Flood Protection Improvements Act of 2013—the companion bill to Rep. Doris Matsui’s H.R. 135—authorizes essential levee improvements in Natomas, including $921.2 million in federal contributions. The improvements protect residents between the American and Sacramento rivers where the Corps of Engineers estimates the risk of levee failure at 1 in 3, with damages from a single flood totaling as much as $7 billion. See press release
Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) re-introduced the Natomas Basin Flood Protection Improvements Act and the Flood Protection Public Safety Act, both key pieces of legislation that would authorize the Natomas Levee Improvement Project (NLIP). Read Press Release
SAFCA’s contractor, Nordic Industries, Inc., has begun constructing channel improvements along Unionhouse Creek.
This includes installation of a temporary coffer dam upstream of the project area. SAFCA, in partnership with the City of Sacramento, plans to complete the project by the end of October. The project will increase flood protection and reduce flood insurance rates for area residents. The project will cover 1.6 miles of the channel along Consumnes River Blvd., from just west of Bruceville Road to Franklin Blvd.
On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 extending the National Flood Insurance Program’s authority through September 30, 2017. This authorization includes a provision that caps the amount premiums can increase in any given year when an area is newly mapped into a FEMA high-risk zone. Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui recently sent a notice informing residents of this provision.
After nearly 4 years of excavation work, the first load of concrete for the new auxiliary spillway control structure at Folsom Dam was poured today. The control structure will be 146 feet high and contain six steel gates, each 23 feet wide and 34 feet tall. The gates will be 50 feet lower than the spillway gates in the existing dam. This will allow dam operators to release water for flood control storage earlier. The project, a collaboration among the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the State of California and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, began in 2007 and is expected to be completed in 2017. When complete, the $1 billion project will serve as the cornerstone in providing a minimum 200-year level of flood protection to the Sacramento region.
SAFCA staff along with Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials led a second tour of construction on the new spillway at Folsom Dam. Participating on the tour of the new facility as well as a look inside the 57 year old dam were SAFCA board members Roberta MacGlashan, Jeff Smith, James Gallagher and Brian Holloway. Also in attendance was Sacramento City Manager John Shirey.
Attending the first tour of the facility on April 3, 2012 were SAFCA Vice Chair Phil Serna and Board member Susan Peters. Work to make dam safety improvements coupled with the new spillway installation and a look at the Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam improvements helped Board members understand how our local assessment dollars are being spent in conjunction with state and federal monies. Improvements are helping Sacramento to attain minimum 200 year flood protection levels.
“During my recent tour of the Folsom Dam Joint Federal Project, I found it impressive to see the amount of progress that has been made on the project. The project at Folsom dam is the linchpin to Sacramento’s climb toward a 200-year level flood protection, a goal I’ve personally supported as a Metro Chamber Board member and throughout my years on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. I commend our federal partners, the Corps and Reclamation, on their dedication and efforts to expedite the project,” said Supervisor Susan Peters.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractors have begun construction of a 3,300 foot floodwall along Morrison Creek. Once completed, the project will provide a 100-year level of flood protection to approximately 1,500 properties. In addition to providing a higher level of flood protection, the project will also relieve property owners of mandatory high-cost flood insurance.
Since the 2007 Symposium, the US Army Corps of Engineers invested in further research by its Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) to study the effects of woody vegetation on the performance of earthen levees. Simultaneously, the California Roundtable for Central Valley Flood Management (formerly the California Levees Roundtable) formed the California Levee Vegetation Research Program to research gaps in scientific knowledge not addressed by the ERDC studies. Other relevant research on the effects of vegetation on levee integrity continues nationally and internationally.
On August 28-30, 2012, a second Levee Vegetation Research Symposium will be held in Sacramento to take stock of what as been learned over the past five years.
SAFCA and the State Department of Water Resources participated in a town hall meeting to discuss recent flood control improvements and the release of the Draft Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. The town hall was hosted by SAFCA Board Member Angelique Ashby and Senator Darrell Steinberg.
Also in attendance was Bill Edgar. Mr. Edgar is an appointee to the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, former Sacramento City Manager and former SAFCA Executive Director. Watch below Mr. Edgar being interviewed about the importance of the Draft Central Valley Flood Protection Plan.