Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sacramento is next....

There are times, however, when much of Sacramento lies below the level of the American and Sacramento rivers at flood stage, straining our vital levees. And, as in New Orleans, rushing water can have a fatal scouring effect on Sacramento levees.

"In a lot of ways, we see New Orleans as a sister city," said Stein Buer, executive director of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. "We feel deeply the tragedy that's unfolding."

New Orleans was said to enjoy 250-year flood protection, meaning the city faced a 1-in-250 chance of flooding in any given year. Central Sacramento, in comparison, is rated to withstand only a 100-year flood event.

Sacramento's risk of flooding, in short, is the greatest of any major American city, according to SAFCA.

"One of these days, we might get a huge storm," said Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento. "We have to take steps to ensure something like this doesn't happen to a community like Sacramento."

Sacramento narrowly dodged that bullet in two recent wet years, 1986 and 1997. As a result, local officials developed an ambitious plan, originally estimated to cost about $700 million, to improve flood protection to a one-in-213 standard.

The project includes modifications to Folsom Dam and many miles of levee improvements along the Sacramento and American rivers.

Much of the project remains unfunded, and recent setbacks have slowed progress.

Bids for a key project to improve Folsom Dam's release capacity came in up to three times higher than the $215 million estimate. As a result, it could now be up to three more years before full construction begins-MSNBC

Of course a brief perusal of other stories indicates the government says all is well. Carol Hopwood reassures everyone that Sacto. is hunky-dory when it comes to floods, though as you can read above NO had 250 flood year protection and SACTO. only has 100. I will let you research what exactly "100-year" flood protection means, but suffice to say it probably isn't what you think it it.

1% Flood Refers to a flood of a magnitude that has an estimated probability of 1 in 100 of occurring in any given year. Technically more precise way of referring to the "100-year flood". Generally, 1%, 2%, 10% events refer to levels of flood flows with an expected recurrence of 100, 50, and 10 years respectively.

Glossary of flood protection
100-Year Flood Flood of a magnitude with an expected recurrence of once in 100 years. Synonymous with 1% flood.


"I think we're looking at what's happening in New Orleans and we're looking at ... have we considered all the issues that are confronting them? At this point, I think we have," Sacramento Emergency Management Planner Jerry Colivas said.

Sacramento County's top disaster planner, Carol Hopwood, said thanks to nine years of coordinated flood disaster planning, the city and county have already identified which major malls, churches and schools can be used as evacuation shelters. Agreements have been struck to Regional Transit buses and private buses to move evacuees. And, in the coming months, a telephone alert system will be up and running -- a system that could potentially notify every resident in the Sacramento area when evacuations are mandatory.

I'm quite sure if we mine the net enough we are going to find the same bullshit from Louisana officials, who interestingly enough haven't been the target of the ire of the people as much as Bush has. The feds screwed up. But LA and NO? Let's play the blame game then and see how they add up.


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