Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sacramento Flooding, Part Six

As this story from yesterday's Bee shows, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the area, North Sacramento, will be the hardest hit when floods come again.

North Sacramento is also blessed with one of the most beautiful areas of the Parkway, though cursed by large scale illegal camping by the homeless and related crime, which local political leaders seem unable to address effectively; similar to how they are dealing (so far) with flood protection.

Facing the deepest risk
Quiet N. Sac neighborhood could be hit hardest in flood
By Carrie Peyton Dahlberg -- Bee Staff Writer Published 2:15 am PST Monday, November 28, 2005

Adriana Figueroa loves the mound of flowers that rises toward her front yard fountain in a crescendo of pink, purple and red. For Nancy Her, it's the peacefulness of her street, and the step-down family room that offers a welcome bit of space in a house jammed with six kids and two parents.

Like hundreds of thousands of others in the Sacramento region, the Figueroas and the Hers have made their homes behind levees, putting up family photos, raising children and chasing dreams where water could someday flow.

Unlike others, though, they live in a tidy corner of North Sacramento that boasts an unfortunate distinction.

It is the place where water could run deepest under levee-break scenarios modeled by the city and county of Sacramento to help plan evacuations.

"We're in the dead zone, you could say," said Pang Her, 23, as she sized up where her parents' house lies on city flood maps.

If levees gave way, murky floodwater would engulf the Hers' backyard chicken pen and pour through front and back doors. Water would top the wrought iron fence, the white-trimmed windows and even the shingled roof, reaching 25 feet in just three days, according to one scenario.

No other levee break in Sacramento would heap more water onto a single community during the hypothetical "hundred-year" storm that the city and county use to model how best to respond if various levees give way.

For the rest of the story: