The Hamilton City Levee Construction and Revegetation Project is a dual-purpose flood risk management and ecosystem restoration project, which will construct approximately 6.8 miles of levee for improved flood protection and about 1,500 acres of native habitat. The new setback levee will provide improved levels of flood risk management and levee stability. The restoration work will benefit the recovery and stability of numerous federal and state-listed species and provide a more natural river function, contributing significantly to aquatic ecosystem restoration along this reach of the Sacramento River.
The Hamilton City community has long been at risk of flooding from the Sacramento River. Portions of Hamilton City and its surrounding area flooded in 1974; and extensive flood fighting was necessary in 1983, 1986, 1995, 1997, and 1998 to avoid failure of the private J levee. Town residents were evacuated six times in the past 20 years: 1983, 1986, twice in 1995, 1997, and 1998. The Hamilton City community relies on the existing J levee to contain Sacramento River flows. The existing J levee does not meet current levee construction standards and could fail at river levels below the top of the levee.