Saturday, January 27, 2007

100 Year Protection in the Pocket

Touting 100 year protection, when most major cities have a 500 year level, is exactly why Sacramento is rated as having the worst flood protection in the country of any major city; low expectations from leadership failing to act on the most urgent public safety issue Sacramento faces.

Levees safer after repairs
Pocket area residents could see big flood insurance savings.
By Matt Weiser - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PST Saturday, January 27, 2007

Sacramento's Pocket, Greenhaven and Meadowview neighborhoods could soon save a bundle on flood insurance now that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to certify that the area's levees meet a 100-year safety standard.

The announcement affects about 35,000 homes. It follows a long year of noisy levee repairs in the area, where local, state and federal officials have spent more than $60 million repairing erosion damage and building new slurry walls to stop seepage from the Sacramento River.

Pocket levee repairs consumed 250,000 tons of rock. And some of the new slurry walls -- a barrier within the levee made of bentonite and clay -- reach 110 feet down, making them some of the deepest ever built.

The results mean the Pocket and adjoining neighborhoods are now considered safe from a flood with a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. That is considered minimal for an urban area. But it is additional safety the Pocket hasn't enjoyed before.

"We are not out of trouble yet, but we are much more protected today because of the completion of this work," said Col. Ronald Light, chief of the Sacramento division of the Army Corps. "It doesn't eliminate the need for insurance. It just reduces the cost."

He recommended homeowners keep flood insurance, even after it becomes optional.