Construction began Thursday on an emergency project to repair a critical flood protection levee adjacent to downtown Yuba City.
The nearly three-mile stretch protects an estimated 75,000 people from Feather River flood waters.
The levee was heavily damaged earlier this year when the Feather River had higher than normal flows.
Mike Inamine is with the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency. He says the project was a top priority in the state's levee system for good reason.
Inamine describes the dangers if the structure were to fail during an upcoming flood event.
"Oh it would have been deadly. It would have been catastrophic. If it would had happened at the wrong time, it would have been among the deadliest failures for any levee system in California," Inamine said.
Project leaders say California and Federal politicians came together in a bipartisan fashion to get this project moving quickly.
Reconstruction is now underway and is expected to be completed at the end of November.