Sunday, January 20, 2008

Amity Beach, Natomas

A rather scary comparison that rings a little bit too true.

Marcos Bretón: Leadership's key on flood hazard zone
By Marcos Bretón -
Published 12:00 am PST Sunday, January 20, 2008

In the film "Jaws," Roy Scheider played a police chief desperately trying to close the beaches of his town after a great white shark devoured a resident.

But the conniving mayor overruled him. The economic necessity of beaches jammed with consumers trumped public safety. And it was fine, until the water ran red, people died and public outrage followed.

Welcome to Sacramento's worst nightmare.

The city depends on North Natomas as a revenue generator like the beaches of fictional Amity Island. Commercial and residential real estate mean big money for city budgets.

But the federal government says levees protecting North Natomas are weaker than anyone thought. And the looming shark is a catastrophic flood akin to what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans.

There is no American city more in danger of massive flooding than Sacramento.

Consequently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said this week that it would designate Natomas as a flood hazard zone, essentially placing a moratorium on all building there until the levees are fortified.