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Much Of Levee Damage From This Year's Storms Has Not Been Repaired

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Large erosion section in levee Near the Sacramento Weir in Yolo County.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The California Department of Water Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers are repairing 30 sites that suffered "critical" damage this winter and are preparing to fix another 10.

But, there are 100 locations that have been tagged as "serious" that will not be addressed this year.

"The contingency plan, what we're going to do is really lean into flood-fighting," said Jon Ericson with DWR. "Monitoring the situation to see if the condition is going to progress to something that may cause flooding in a local area,” he says.

According to DWR, it has already entered into contracts to provide emergency help if it is required.

The Central Valley Flood Protection Board is calling for an immediate increase in spending for maintenance and repairs to the valley's levees.

This year's flood protection plan identifies $130 million in need annually.

Comparatively, $30 million is budgeted by state, local and federal agencies.

Bill Edgar is president of the board. He says the Feather, American and Sacramento river-area levees performed much better this winter compared to the floods of 1986, 1997, or 2006.

"However, where we didn't spend the money, San Joaquin, the Colusa area, the Wilton area, the system failed to perform adequately," Edgar said.

The board estimates a cost of $17-21 billion over the next 30 years to implement all phases of its flood protection plan.

A bond measure is set to go on the March ballot that would include half-a-billion dollars for such projects.

DWR said weather patterns and sea temperatures are similar compared to last October.

But, the high pressure systems have been closer to California, which has prevented most storms from dropping in from the north.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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