September 14, 2005

Subsidence, Old levees, Slow Government Response. Not New Orleans: California

"Levee failure is not an 'if', it's a 'when'," Mount said. "There seems to be a willingness to tolerate the human suffering and property loss that might come with these events."

New Orleans? No.

California. The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. AP Wire | 09/14/2005 | Thousands of Californians at higher flood risk than New Orleans

According to the Mecury News, floodplain deprived of annual renewal has subsided more than in New Orlenas, levees are old, repair monies have been held up and FEMA models underestimate the 100-year flood risk. Add a possible earthquake and some 400,000 people might have to evacuate in a hurry. An estimated 51,000 people in Sacramento alone have no personal auto.

Owners of the many brand-new houses at risk express confidence that the government has protected them. Some are now considering flood insurance.

This article reports that a single levee break in 2004 led to $100 million in damage. Of $90 million authorized for levee improvements, only 1/3 has been appropriated in the 2006 federal budget.

Posted by dougsimpson at September 14, 2005 09:43 PM