Friday, October 28, 2005

Sacramento Not Protected From 100 year Flooding

As noted in the Bee yesterday, our Senator, knowing we are not protected from even 100-year flooding, is pointing to Sacramento as an national example of un-preparedness.

The storage and supply of water, especially in the American River, needs to become the front and center issue of public safety discussion, and all options for protecting the people of Sacramento and the natural resources of the Parkway, at the optimal level, have to be part of those discussions.

The Bee is beginning a special report on flooding in Sacramento, Sunday, October 30th.

Disaster planning questioned
Senator skeptical that U.S. could respond better now.
By David Whitney -- Bee Washington Bureau Published 2:15 am PDT Thursday, October 27, 2005

WASHINGTON - Sen. Dianne Feinstein said after a two-hour hearing on emergency preparedness Wednesday that she doesn't believe the country is any more ready to respond to natural or terrorist-caused disasters than it was on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Democrat and former San Francisco mayor used Sacramento as an example, saying the state capital lacks even 100-year protection from floods.

"If there's an earthquake and levees go down, the flooding possibilities are enormous," said Feinstein, who along with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has been pressing the Bush administration unsuccessfully for a copy of its earthquake plan for the state.

Feinstein's comments came at the end of a hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee's terrorism and homeland security subcommittee.

The panel's chairman, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said the hearing's purpose was to determine what should be done to "achieve an immediate, effective and successful" disaster response.
Witnesses were not encouraging.

Slade Gorton, the former Washington senator who was a member of the national commission that studied the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., said the country remains as vulnerable today as it was then.

"After 9/11, after Hurricane Katrina, we are still not prepared," Gorton said.

Among the larger concerns Gorton raised was poor communication between emergency fire and police crews. The inability to communicate via radio cost many firefighters their lives in the Twin Towers attacks, Gorton said, and greatly hampered Katrina responsiveness.

For the rest of the story: