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200-year floods part of Manteca safety strategy

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POSTED December 16, 2013 12:04 a.m.

Manteca is moving to comply with a state mandate requiring cities to restrict development within the 200-year floodplain of the Central Valley.

For now, the council is being asked Tuesday to make changes to the general plan  — the state-mandated blueprint for growth  — to change flood concerns from existing wording addressing 100-year events to 200-year floods. Wording also indicated the city will take steps to ensure they comply with the Central Valley Flood Protect Plan plus participate in development of a collaborative flood plan for San Joaquin County.

The council is meeting at 7 p.m. at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane, due to work being done to bring the council chambers up to Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The new Central Valley flood protection strategy assumes a major reservoir such as New Melones on the Stanislaus River will fail. During the 1997 floods that inundated roughly 70 square miles south of Manteca the New Melones Reservoir came within hours of being breached due to a heavy December snowpack in the Sierra that was followed by extensive warm rains trigging an early winter snow melt.

Jurisdictions must take steps to protect areas threatened by 200-year flooding either with secure levees, require development to be elevated out of the flood plain, or else ban all new development.

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