video title: Natomas Flood Risk
video link:
video source: SacramentoDistrict
uploaded on YouTube Oct. 17, 2011

more info: Levee Safety Program
duration: 5:29 minutes

Sacramento's Hazardous Levees Demand Attention "video of the day" review by Alex Cosper on Jan. 4, 2012

Here's an information video from The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Sacramento District that warns about the potential levee hazards in Sacramento. Local, state and Corps experts discuss why levees are dangerous surrounding the Natomas, North Sacramento and Greater Sacramento Basin districts, which form low level areas between the Sacramento River and Folsom Lake. If levees were to break, massive flooding would occur in Sacramento. The USACE explains how the only thing holding the water back from the rivers is a weak 42 mile levee system.

If the levee system were to fail it could mean most of Sacramento would end up underwater. "Imagine a wall of water 15, 20 feet high being unleashed against your house .. the house is going to disintegrate," warns USACE Project Manager Dan Tibbits, who also says people living near levees should always be concerned about flood risk. Tibbits says the levees are constantly patrolled but recalls how the Sutter Bypass levee failure of 1997 was due to problems going unnoticed. Executive Director Rick Johnson of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) says the levees around Natomas were built in the early 1900s to protect agriculture, before the area was populated.

The USACE initiated a plan in 2007 to fix the levees, seeking federal funds authorized by Congress. SAFCA began reconstruction on the worst areas of the levee that needed the most attention, without federal funding, but instead with state funds. Eighteen of the 42 miles of levee surrounding Natomas have been improved by SAFCA with the remainder to be handled by The USACE, according to this video, which estimates the cost of fixing the levees to be over $1 Billion. The USACE recommends that Sacramento residents prepare with an evactuation plan and know where to go in case of flooding.

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