Category: Levees

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Flooding in Houston: Can We – Should We? – Plan for Such Massive Flooding Events?

All eyes are appropriately on Houston right now, where record rainfall has led to catastrophic flooding, loss of life, inestimable damages, and years if not decades of recovery and re-building. Around the country, many communities are now sitting up and paying more attention to that question, “what if that happened here?” Here in Sacramento, where … Continue Reading

Trump Executive Order Issued on Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and Regulatory Reform

August 15, 2017 was a busy day for the Trump Administration. While interacting with the press and other politicians regarding the protests and counter-protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, the White House was also issuing an Executive Order with potentially far-reaching effects on flood management.… Continue Reading

USACE Issues Guidance on Contributed Funds for Section 408 Review

As many in the industry have learned recently, the FY 17 budget only included approximately $3 million nationwide for processing 33 U.S.C. Section 408 review. This is the Section under which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) claims jurisdiction to review and approve any alterations or encroachments to Federally authorized water resources facilities such … Continue Reading

James Dalton, Director of Civil Works at USACE, Offers Valuable Perspectives at Annual NAFSMA Conference

One of the best ways to learn about the direction of national flood risk management is to attend the annual conference of the National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA). The NAFSMA conference is an amazing meeting of decision-makers and thought-leaders from around the country, with important topics discussed at a plenary session-only … Continue Reading

New Guidance from USACE Could Streamline Processes

A June 21, 2017 Memorandum issued by James Dalton, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Director of Civil Works, is designed to streamline a number of USACE processes, including: Embracing risk-based decision-making.  While USACE has always been good at evaluating the risk of flooding from the present condition, or the future condition, it has not been … Continue Reading

The FY2017 Budget Continues to Support Army Corps Activities

On Friday May 5 President Trump signed the budget deal that allows the Federal government to move from its one week continuing resolution to an adopted budget for the 2017 Fiscal Year.  The budget deal includes a healthy set of appropriations for flood risk reduction and puts the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on … Continue Reading

Update on Oroville Dam, Concerns about Fish and a Related Snow Survey

Things have appeared relatively quiet at Oroville Dam for the past couple of weeks, but a lot has been happening.  DWR has been clearing debris from the diversion pool and has successfully started up releases through the Hyatt Powerplant, but the drawdown had some negative impacts downstream.  Here is our latest update. As always, if … Continue Reading

The Governor Writes a Letter, and Roundup on Flooding Issues Around the State

Here’s our Saturday morning update on flood control issues in the Central Valley and beyond. Things have been quieter this week at Oroville Dam, but there’s plenty to report on from around the state. As always, if you find this blog helpful or interesting, please feel free to share it with others who may be … Continue Reading

A Mishmash of News as California Gets Even Wetter.

It feels like Monday morning’s installment should start with a rousing round of “rain, rain, go away, come again another day, Californians want to play!”  With even more storms set to hit Northern and Southern California, the rain totals continue to rise and Mother Nature once again shows her awesome power.  Today’s installment is focused on short summaries … Continue Reading

DWR Expresses Confidence That Oroville Threat Has Diminished, and Downstream Levees Will be Reinforced. And Here Comes the Rain!!

Here is Saturday morning’s installment of our update on the Oroville Dam spillway incident and more news about the valley.  In summary, Oroville’s Powerhouse is still not able to produce power; the emergency or auxiliary spillway remains stable; workers continue to add rock and concrete to address the erosion that led to the evacuations; the primary … Continue Reading

Mandatory Evacuation Ends Below Oroville Dam, But the Flood Control System in the Valley Remains Strained

Here is Wednesday morning’s installment of our update on the Oroville Dam spillway incident and more news about the valley. For background, please see our earlier blog posts which set the stage and provide context.  In sum, the mandatory evacuation is over; the emergency or auxiliary spillway remains stable; workers continue to add rock and … Continue Reading

“Dynamic” Situation at Oroville Dam: Valentine’s Day Update (and in other news….)

Here is Tuesday morning’s installment of our update on the Oroville Dam spillway incident.  For background, please see our earlier blog posts, starting last Thursday, February 9, and most recently our update of February 13 which sets the stage and provides context.  In sum, the evacuation continues; the emergency or auxiliary spillway is stable; workers … Continue Reading

Uncontrolled Releases on Oroville Dam Were Unlikely From This Storm Event; Now Certain

What a difference a day makes!  As of Friday afternoon, it appeared unlikely that Oroville Reservoir would rise enough for water to flow over the emergency spillway, as inflow into the lake had been declining since early Friday, the rain had stopped, and the primary spillway continued to be used to manage outflow. But the … Continue Reading

New California Tribal Consultation Law Takes Effect July 1

Most flood control projects require environmental review triggered by a federal, state, or local agency permit or decision. For example, federal agencies must consider the environmental impacts of their proposed actions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and many states have their own “mini-NEPA” laws that require state and local agencies to identify the … Continue Reading

Louisiana Judge Tosses Lawsuit Blaming Oil and Gas Industry for Flood Damages

A lawsuit brought in 2013 by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East has been dismissed by a federal judge who found that the Authority had failed to support its claims against dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies. The Authority sued the companies for damages, arguing that their oil and gas exploration activities had damaged … Continue Reading
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