Following the tragic events in New Orleans due to the
havoc and water damage caused by Hurricane Katrina,
Sacramento has been singled out as the next city in
America's that is most likely to be hit by floods. California
state reports have recently shown that an untimely combination
of bad weather and ever-weakening flood control structures
will most probably put Sacramento under 20 feet of water
- a grim scenario that residents of Sacramento will
not want to see come to pass.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of
emergency for California's levees in February 2006.
He executed Executive Order S-01-06 directing agencies
to identify, evaluate and repair critical systems. As
a result, some critical erosion sites were repaired
in 2006, but the underlying structural problem for the
Sacramento region and the state remains.
Realizing the possibility of large scale flooding,
state and local officials have joined forces to improve
Folsom Dam and reinforced already badly weakened levees
along the American and Sacramento Rivers. Just last
year construction began on Folsom Dam Joint Federal
Project, with the main feature being a gated auxiliary
spillway designed to allow Folsom Dam to safely pass
a 200-year flood of 450,000 cubic feet per second peak
flow. New State laws were enacted last year to implement
better flood management policies and practices, including
land use, environmental enhancement, and new flood control
facilities. These activities will no-doubt cost taxpayers
billions of dollars but officials admit that safety
is the key issue.
The site http://www.safca.org/floodRisk/riverConditions.asp
provides up to date flood threats and information about
current conditions along the Sacramento County reaches
of the American and Sacramento Rivers.