Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The 250% above average snowpack this past season will melt. And, as our river levels and reservoir levels reflect, the danger is as high now as it was three months ago.
The levees are more than saturated, and have been reinforced beyond expectations, in my humble opinion. But, for how long can they withstand the pressure of constant water upon them?
The operators/owners of the reservoirs have been more astute, more diligent in maintaining safe levels thus far, for the most part, to which huge kudos should be given to them. But, again for how long can they maintain this ever fragile safety net? A small earthquake, or temps in the high 90s plus for even a few days could trigger a massive emergency. Be aware folks of what is going on around you. I do not believe the danger has passed. And, for those of you who were not around in 1996-1997 flood emergency, I was. And, it literally caught us residential, commercial, government and agricultural neighbors to the San Joaquin River with our pants down. Although, there was constant indicators that a problem would develop, but since it never had thus far, why would it then, was the sentiment of the day, for the most part?
When you stopped up on the Altamont and looked back, all you could see for the most part was water, water, water everywhere. And, as far as the eye could see. It wasn’t as filled with homes, etc, but it was a very terrifying sight to see. And, if you followed any news media at all, every entity had a different story, had a different projection of outcome. But, it was all bad, as far as I am concerned. So, I just relied on my own eyes to tell me the real story. As you all should do again, I think.
I understand that a lot of you folks don’t believe that anything has changed. But, I do — but, only so far as the funds are available to improve the levee system. It is not just a government issue. It is all the individual entities that have a hand in maintaining and protecting our safety. Need more reservoirs, of course, but again it takes funding. And, understand that private entities do own and are responsible for the watershed in the Central Valley area, and have been since the development of trying to control Mother Nature.
Go take a shovel and dig down a foot or two and see where your water table is. It is a rude awakening. We can possibly slip by unscathed, but we could be under several feet of water again, on the other hand. Who knows?