Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Here Comes the Flood

1997 flood of the Feather River at Oliveherst [click photo for brief history]

Yesterday the Army Corps of Engineers announced that they would be decertifying the Natomas Basin as being safe from a 100 year flood, reducing the protection level to a 30 year flood. This will effectively stop all new construction in this area.

The Natomas Basin lies just north of downtown Sacramento and currently is the area of fastest growth in the region.

The Sacramento River flows south from the upper left hand corner of the photo past Sacramento International Airport then heads east near the bottom of the photo to its confluence with the American River just north of downtown Sacramento. The area to the east of the river and north of Interstate 80 is the area that would be effected by flooding of the basin. I-80 is the road running
diagonal downward from the right to left. Downtown Sacramento lies to the east of the Sacramento river as it exits the bottom of the photo and south of the American river.

Along side the farm land is a large area of high density housing built in the last few years. Below is one of many neighborhoods in the area.

Check back for much more on this situation in the days to come as I put together a report.

In the meantime here is a hydrologist's take on the history of floods and the Sacramento Valley.

And a musical interlude from Peter Gabriel

Here Comes the Flood

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