The Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) mailed ballots in late April to parcel owners throughout the Sacramento area calling for a vote on the creation of a new flood control assessment district. The proposed new flood control assessment district would replace an existing flood control assessment district. I was among the approximately 160,000 parcel owners who received the SAFCA ballot.
Flood Watch, the SAFCA publication that landed in the mailbox’s of the impacted parcel owners, did a good job in laying out what is at stake. Additionally, SAFCA did considerable public outreach – holding twelve community open houses in May throughout the Sacramento area.
Of the 45,000+ homeowners who sent in their ballots, SAFCA reported that a majority voted in favor of the creation of a new flood control assessment district. No one, including me, likes to have their annual costs go up. However, in this particular case I admit that I was an easy sell.
In 1986 my East Sacramento home basement had water seeping up through the concrete floor and we were on alert. My daughter’s basketball practice was halted midway and the school called asking parents to come pick up their children.
Naturally, I was very concerned – but I only found out afterwards just how close we had come to a major flooding disaster. Very close – very scary. Other areas were not as lucky and many suffered losses as a result of flooding that year. The last major flood in Sacramento was 1997.
In my former working life I was heavily involved in legislation that mandates a 200-year level of flood protection for urban areas by 2025. During the course of the negotiations (I represented local government – counties specifically) I learned a LOT about the state’s flood control system.
Bottom line – you can’t “prevent” flooding – you can only attempt to “control” it – and property owners in the Sacramento floodplain made the right decision to fund much-needed improvements to the Sacramento area flood control system.
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