Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
As a boy growing up in Florida I use to watch drag lines dredge the canals and rivers in Florida. Dredging serves two important functions in a waterway. It deepens the channel and prevents it from flooding as well as the material taken out of the channel is deposited to build up the levees banks to further safeguard the river. Florida has dealt with this problem consistently for years, for it is flat low land and susceptible to flooding.
Representatives of Manteca are in the dark in thinking that building a second levee will contain this river in a severe El Nino flood year. The San Joaquin River is currently under flood watch and rising. If the new levee is built and flooding happens flood insurance firms will sue for claims paid out because the levee elevation will be increased and will direct flood waters downstream. I also think there will be suits against the city in infringing on personal property to construct this levee.
If one drives by the back of Costco you will see why elevating a levee isn’t the way to proceed. A huge flooded lake has formed — due to a high water table as you get closer to the Delta — in the area this city plans to develop in the future. This is the area that the council is spending $8.7 million without a reason to do so. This lake is another reason to rethink constructing this levee. Flooding in the lowlands causes forces to erode the elevation of the levee from both sides of the levee. Dredging is the only way this city or any other agency can render this waterway as safe. This city lacks common sense in consideration of this project. It stands to reason, if you have a tub of water and you throw a bucket of material in it, is it going to rise in elevation? How high is a safe margin to elevate the levee — and what will be the consequence of doing so? I urge city officials to let the Governor deal with his problem.