Sacramento, Second Most Flood Prone in US

That sad reality has not changed, as this story from the Sacramento Bee reports, although the move up the level of flood protection from 100 year flood to 300 year flood is an improvement, though the gold standard is 500 year flood protection.

An excerpt.

Even after years of drought, Sacramento’s biggest worry over water is flood risk. The city is widely considered the second-most flood-prone major city in America, after New Orleans.

Sacramento’s efforts to fight flooding got a major boost Thursday. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Rep. Doris Matsui’s office announced that the region has been allocated nearly $1.8 billion to strengthen levees and raise Folsom Dam. The federal money also will be spent widening the Sacramento Weir, a mechanism north of the city that acts as a safety valve by channeling flood waters into the Yolo Bypass.

Construction work on most of the projects could begin next year and likely would take about 5 to 7 years to finish, said Rick Johnson, executive director of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, or SAFCA.

The allocation means the Army Corps “recognizes the risk that Sacramento has,” Johnson said.

Currently, significant portions of the area lack 100-year flood protection — that is, the fortification to withstand a flood that has a 1-in-100 chance of occurring in a given year. People who live in neighborhoods lacking 100-year protection — and that means thousands in Sacramento — must buy flood insurance.

The projects that received funding Thursday, along with a separate project that will rebuild 24 miles of levees around the Natomas Basin, will elevate Sacramento to 300-year flood protection.

In total, the Army Corps allocated $17 billion for flood projects around the country Thursday, as part of a congressional appropriation in February.

“It’s extremely significant that the Sacramento region has received such a substantial portion of this overall funding,” said Matsui, D-Sacramento, in a prepared statement. “This is a huge milestone for our region.”

Retrieved June 6, 2018 from


About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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