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San Francisco, CAU.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today sent a letter to President George W. Bushy requesting that flood control improvements in the Sacramento area – including vital repairs to the area’s levee system – be fully funded in the President’s FY 2008 budget.

“The region dodged a bullet this past winter, when the run-off from heavy winter storms – which led to a federal disaster declaration in thirty-one Northern and Central California Counties – resulted in dangerous erosion to the region's levees,”Senator Feinstein wrote. “It is my strong belief that those of us in positions of public trust must act when confronted with an imminent threat to those we serve.”

The following is the text of Senator Feinstein’s letter to President Bush:

October 16, 2006

The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

            I write to request that your Fiscal Year 2008 Budget fully fund the Army Corps of Engineers’ capacity to construct vital flood control improvements in the Sacramento area at $113.5 million. As you know, this is an issue of critical importance to me, to my State, and to the people who live and work in the region.

Sacramento is the only major city of its size that does not have 200-year flood protection. Modeling of the potential flood damage by the City and County governments shows that some areas of the City of Sacramento could flood to depths of 17 feet, or more. Last year, I toured one such area, called “the Pocket” because it is a neighborhood located in a bend in the Sacramento River. The homes sit literally in the shadow of the levee system.

The region dodged a bullet this past winter, when the run-off from heavy winter storms—which led to a federal disaster declaration in thirty-one Northern and Central California Counties —resulted in dangerous erosion to the region's levees.  It is my strong belief that those of us in positions of public trust must act when confronted with an imminent threat to those we serve. On August 2nd, I asked that you request Emergency Supplemental funding for those repairs (letter attached). I understand that the Corps of Engineers estimates the cost of the emergency repairs at $160 million - $260 million in 2007.

As you develop your 2008 budget, please bear this dangerous situation in mind and provide full funding of the Corps of Engineers capacity to construct improvements to the American River Watershed project at $90.5 million, the South Sacramento Streams project at $11.0 million, and the Sacramento River Bank Protection project at $12.0 million. The prompt completion of these projects, including improvements to Folsom Dam, will help achieve 200-year protection.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

 

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