HomeLocal NewsSacramento flood risk spurs renewed focus on infrastructure projects

Sacramento flood risk spurs renewed focus on infrastructure projects

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Sacramento, California – Sacramento faces one of the highest flood risks in the country. With clear skies and lower river levels, flood management teams are resuming work on various projects designed to safeguard the area. Currently, there are twenty-four ongoing projects, including eight that started this year, aimed at protecting the Central Valley from severe weather that can quickly elevate lake and river levels.

“We’ve seen some pretty significant flooding in this region, and then we’ve seen the most recent set of winters where we’ve had atmospheric river conditions back to back and we see the extremes of climate change,” said Michael Conner, assistant secretary with the U.S. Army.

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Billions of dollars are being invested to reinforce levees and enhance flood management infrastructure. Congresswoman Doris Matsui emphasized that it is critical for legislators to safeguard homes, families, and businesses. Matsui is inspecting several construction sites, such as a new levee in West Sacramento designed to be set further from the river to minimize erosion and provide a natural area for wildlife and recreational activities.

“We started thinking about instead of fighting nature, why can’t we look to see how we can work with nature,” Matsui said.

At Folsom Lake, large new stop logs, each measuring 50 feet in width and 10 feet in height, are being installed to supplement the existing dam gates, which are being elevated by three feet to increase water retention during rainy seasons. Additionally, enhancements are being made to modernize the Sacramento weir, which will nearly double its capacity, allowing more floodwater to be rerouted to the Yolo Bypass, thus protecting downtown Sacramento.

“That weir was over 100 years old,” Matsui said. “That’s good progress.”

“We know whatever the risk has historically been, it’s going to be greater,” Conner said.

Read also: Sacramento residents raise alarm over homeless camp’s proximity to railroad tracks

If Sacramento does not achieve a 200-year level of flood protection by next year, all new residential and commercial construction projects could be suspended.

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