Monday, February 27, 2006

Potentially wet Natomas

It’s a little wet this morning in the foothills so the Sacramento River is probably rising. It appears that this storm is going to leave behind four inches of rain. It was probably coincidental that the Governor recently declared a State of Emergency announcing that the levees protecting Sacramento warranted a Declaration and much needed attention.
If the levees ever do fail in the Natomas Area, the city officials at that time will likely blame the Bush Administration. They will carry-on endlessly to the media about the lack of response time to the devastation. There will be investigations and various department heads will be called before Congress. There will be a public outcry that the levees were inadequate to protect the city from a 100-year flood. Everyone will blame someone.
Now, after we have billions of dollars in new commercial and residential development in Natomas why are city and government flood officials just recognizing that the flood protection in the area may be, probably is, inadequate to stop the big one. Maybe someone should have pointed that out a few years ago before thousands of people moved into all the new homes there.
Flood insurance isn’t required of new home buyers in Natomas. New home buyers are not advised of the potential hazards of living within a few feet of a leaking levee. State law requires that a home buyer be advised of any earthquake fault lines, airports, and manufacturing zones near a neighborhood but a potential leaking levee isn’t on the disclosure list. It should be.
Where was the Sacramento Flood Agency when the city was approving the building of 7,000 homes adjacent to inadequate levees? Now Butch Hodgkins, the former director says that there were enough signs in the 1990’s to investigate further. Well……? Mayor Heather Fargo, who sits on the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency and was an advocate of the Natomas development, said in a recent interview, “We kind of put Natomas behind us and focused on other projects”. Maybe the city needs to again focus on the safety of the levees in Natomas.


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