Friday, July 20, 2007

Katrina & Sacramento

Tragedy stimulates action and the flood consciousness Sacramento is now awash in has resulted in the important step of doubling our existing flood protection, from 100 to 200 year level.

The next step public leadership should take is to factor the 500 year level into its strategy.

That is the level most major river cities, (Tacoma, St. Louis, Dallas, Kansas City)have already attained.

New Orleans had a 250 year level before Katrina hit.

Region feels Katrina pain, boosts own flood safety
By Deb Kollars - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, July 20, 2007

Two summers ago, flood safety was not a big concern for many people in the Sacramento region.

How different things are now.

On Monday, the final vote tally in West Sacramento revealed residents and businesspeople had overwhelmingly approved a $42 million property tax assessment to pay for an upgrade of the levees surrounding their community.

It was the second such assessment in three months in the capital region. In April, West Sacramento's neighbors on the eastern side of the Sacramento River said yes to a $326 million assessment sponsored by the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, or SAFCA.

The back-to-back measures came as part of a much bigger wave of flood-safety awareness and activity in Sacramento and California, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

"If that hurricane had never happened, these levees would never have become such an issue," said Larry Langford, a state worker who lives in West Sacramento with his wife and three sons. "I keep thinking of those hurricane victims and how it falls on all of us to work together to take care of each other."