State Senator Cathleen Galgiani is making a push to secure $100 million to provide mandated 200-year flood protection for Lathrop as well as part of Manteca and Stockton.
The Stockton Democrat on Wednesday announced legislation that requests funding from the State for flood control assistance for San Joaquin County. Senate Bill (SB) 474, as amended, appropriates $110 million from Proposition 1E, the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006, in order for the State’s local government partners in Reclamation District (RD) 17 to meet state mandated 200 year flood protection standards as required in Senate Bill 5 (2006).
There is $3 billion available through the voter approved bonds to address flooding in the Central Valley.
Galgiani noted the re-enforced levees will also protect vital transportation links such as Interstate 5, the Union Pacific Railroad corridor that plays a major role in California economy as well as facilities such as San Joaquin General Hospital that is the primary trauma center for 700,000 people.
Galgiani helped San Joaquin County constituents deal with the aftermath of the damaging floods which hit the area in 1997 when she was a staff member to then Senator Patrick Johnston. The 1997 event flooded 70 square miles, displaced 2,000 people, damaged more than 800 structures and caused $100 million in damage.
“More than 40 inches of rain fell within a five day period in the Sierra Nevada watershed, flooding thirty-two square miles of land in south San Joaquin County, “ said Galgiani. “Flood waters put pressure on a Southern Pacific Transportation Company line that cut through Stewart Tract, causing it to buckle. Flood waters carried everything from gas tanks full of propane, to containers of windshield washer fluid, leaving toxic materials and hazardous waste behind as waters subsided.”
RD17 is responsible for managing and maintaining the Federal Project Levees, fresh water channels, sloughs, canals, pumps, and other flood protection structures along French Camp Slough and the San Joaquin River in San Joaquin County. The levees and weirs within RD 17 qualify as eligible for system wide improvements for disaster preparedness and flood prevention projects under Prop 1E because they meet statutory requirements as “facilities of the State Plan of Flood Control."
Senate Bill 474 will be heard in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water, next Tuesday, April 25, at 9:30 a.m. in Capitol Room 112.
Manteca, Lathrop fees
will raise $62.4 million
Manteca and Lathrop have adopted fees to help pay for part of the price estimated to reach at least $176 million for the work needed to secure 200-year flood protection for the area.
The Manteca fee adds $3,145 to the cost of building a home in the southwest portion of the city.
Fees were also established for commercial, industrial and multi-family developments in the 200-year floodplain that is within the city’s limit. The fee is $1,417 per 1,000 square feet of commercial, $1,096 per 1,000 square feet of industrial, and $904 per unit of multiple family complexes.
The proposed Manteca fees reflect the flood fees the Lathrop City Council adopted as well. The Manteca fee covers over 900 acres of undeveloped land within the city limits along much of the Airport Way, everything south of the 120 Bypass west of Union Road and an area straddling Woodward Avenue, and a little over four-tenths of a mile east of Union Road. The Lathrop fee covers 4,100 acres.
The fees levied by the two cities on new construction in the 200-year floodplain will cover $62.4 million of the overall $176 million enhanced flood protection work. That leaves a funding gap of $113.6 million that the state bond money would almost cover.
The “fix in place” work covers the cost of seepage berms, cutoff walls, erosion repairs, encroachment remediation, and pipe penetration rehabilitation.
Developers could avoid paying the fee by constructing some of the needed improvements.
Should a 200-year flood occur with multiple levee failures along the Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers south of the Interstate 5 bridge before the merger with the 120 Bypass, engineers have indicated it would:
uflood 4,200 existing homes with 3 feet or more of water.
uendanger and force the evacuation of 10,698 residents in Lathrop outside of River islands, Weston Ranch in Stockton, and southwest Manteca.
uforce the evacuation of San Joaquin Hospital — the county’s major trauma center — as well as the county jail.
uforce first responders at nine fire stations, the Lathrop Police Department and the county sheriff to abandon their stations and key communication centers in the middle of a major emergency.
uLathrop High and Weston Ranch High would have water flowing through their campuses as would six other Manteca unified elementary schools.
uforce the closure of portion of Interstate 5 — the major West Coast freeway running from Mexico to Canada — and the 120 Bypass.
uwater would swamp the wastewater treatment plant serving 75,000 existing Manteca residents and more than 13,000 of Lathrop’s nearly 20,000 residents.
udisrupt Union Pacific Railroad train movements as well as damage tracks that Altamont Corridor Express relies on.
u182 commercial and industrial properties from Costco to the Lathrop Target and Tesla Motors to Simplot would be flooded.
And that’s just for starters. Modeling shows a number of existing homes would likely suffer water damage in fringe areas that could receive upwards of three feet of flood water.
Manteca, Lathrop, and Stockton aren’t the only communities impacted by the Senate Bill 5 mandate. There are 85 cities in 33 Central Valley counties that have to comply.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com