Flooding:: Education:: Sacramento


Whether it is because of El Nino, La Nina or just regular rainfall, coastal California has yearly rainfall that causes at least $550 million in damages a year. Certain years have had damages causing almost $2 billion in damages (January and March of 1995). Sacramento is no exception, but they have significantly less financial backing.

Robert Matsui has fought for raising money to help flood control. One on his projects was the 213-year Flood Protection. That means there is a 1/213 chance that a flood will happen in any year. This requires an additional seven feet (and other minor modifications) to the Folsom Dam, which has protected thousands of homes in the Sacramento area and lessens millions more from damages. But he was opposed by someone who strived to also control flooding, but by building a new dam (the Auburn Dam which is now constructed). At the time, Matsui and SAFCA (Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency) did not like the idea because at the time it was considered too costly and too time consuming to bring immediate relief. This deadlock has caused problems for getting approval for either project. But they were both eventually approved and money was the next big step.

Over the years, Matsui has been able to receive verbal consent from the government to receive $900 million for flood protection, but less than a third of the promised funding was received. There are many other projects approved but are no financially supported.