SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Inspections by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District rated the levee system surrounding the City of Woodland as unacceptable.
The Sacramento District conducted a periodic inspection of the levee system beginning in December 2012. Initial findings were provided in June 2013 for review to the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Reclamation District 2035, Yolo County and the California Department of Water Resources, which are responsible for maintaining the levee system. A final report was presented to the Central Valley Flood Protection Board June 27, 2014. The most serious deficiencies throughout the system were encroachments, erosion, bank caving, cracking, seepage and rodent control.
“Levee inspections are all about making sure that a levee can reliably do what we expect it to,” said Ryan Larson, Sacramento District levee safety program manager. “Our findings help the agencies that own and maintain these levees prioritize levee fixes – and help the public understand their flood risk and make informed decisions about their safety.”
Inspection findings also help determine levee systems’ continued eligibility for the Corps’ levee rehabilitation program, the Corps’ authority to provide federal assistance for flood fighting and repairing levees damaged by floods or storms. Systems rated unacceptable in certain categories of deficiencies believed to directly threaten levee performance become ineligible for federal aid in repairing flood or storm damage to levees until the deficiencies are corrected.
"The Central Valley Flood Protection Board and each of the levee maintaining agencies are continuing to work collaboratively to resolve encroachment and maintenance issues with a goal of achieving an acceptable rating on the levee system," said Len Marino, chief engineer for the Central Valley Flood Protection Board. "The board and our local maintaining agency partners share a common commitment to public safety and flood risk reduction."
The Corps will continue to provide flood fighting assistance for the system, regardless of their status. When the maintenance problems have been corrected, the levee maintaining agencies may request a re-inspection of the levee system, and regain active status in the program if they’ve been adequately addressed.
Of the more than 6,500 miles of levees in the Central Valley, about 1,760 are in the Corps’ Levee Safety Program. Annual inspections of California levees sponsored by the Central Valley Flood Protection Board are conducted mostly by the California Department of Water Resources, with the Corps inspecting 10 percent of those levees annually for quality assurance. The Corps does not own or maintain any levees in the Central Valley, but continues to work with the board and local maintaining agencies to complete levee improvement projects and reduce flood risk throughout the valley.