Flood meeting: Public must become aware
Ann and William Marks of Yuba City thought the levee protecting the city in 1997 would break.
Water levels were running so high that Ann Marks decided to do what other Yuba City families did - evacuate.
Her family took refuge in Roseville for several days as they waited to see what the river would do.
“It was very scary,” she said, recalling a visit she made to the levee top to see the Feather River.
Yuba City didn't flood in '97, but memories of high water and flooding in Arboga that year were still on Marks' mind Thursday night during a community meeting on floods.
“The public needs to pay more attention,” she said. “It's really important. You live here. You need to take responsibility.”
Marks was one of about 40 people who attended a meeting about Sutter County levees and what needs to be done to reach a 200-year level of flood protection - one chance in 200 of a flood in any given year.
PRO-ACT Sutter County Citizens' Alliance sponsored the event.
“Many new residents have little understanding of the levee system and believe they are protected from high water and high insurance rates,” PRO-ACT co-chairman Ken Calhoun said in a statement distributed at the meeting.
Flood control is the most serious issue facing Yuba City, he said.
Upgrading Sutter County levees to the 200-year level could cost $350 million.
Marks felt the cost is better than paying $1,200 a year for mandatory flood insurance or facing flood waters 12 or more feet deep.
Bill Hampton, who manages Levee District 1 in Yuba City, told the audience that slurry walls have been installed from the Sutter County Mental Health Building near the intersection of Live Oak Boulevard and Queens Avenue to the end of Second Street.
Other flood protection structures designed to ease the pressure on the levees stand at various points along the Feather River levee, Hampton said.
But more work needs to be done to bring them up to the 200-year protection level, he said.
PRO-ACT Sutter County Citizens' Alliance hopes voters will support state Proposition 1E on the November ballot which would raise $4.1 billion to repair levees in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Daniel Witter can be reached at 749-4712. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.