jedrider wrote:Well, a San Jose neighborhood is underwater because it was built on a 100-year flood plain, but most people forgot that fact and so, 50,000 people are without a home right now. A bridge is falling south of Big Sur and so Highway 1 is cut off. I love camping there and I think this bridge is on the south side of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, so mostly a bridge to just scenic views, but it is still a major failure. Between sea level rise and Atmospheric Rivers, the bridge didn't have a chance, I suppose.
Still, we'll take the water any time.
The total number of people affected in the San Jose floods was 14,000, a few more than the 1997 floods. All but 200 are salvaging possessions now. Ground floor apartments and houses within the flood zone were damaged to a height of 2-4 feet depending on location.
I happen to believe that all housing built within the 100-year flood zone should be destroyed and the riparian woodlands restored. This is the second time within the 31 years I have lived here that the area has flooded. The woodlands avoid exacerbating the floods, unlike the concrete bridges, culverts, and creekside concrete walls in the area now.
Like many areas in this valley that are at risk from floods, mudslides, and wildfires, the Coyote Creek areas were built up after somebody crossed the palm of a local official with silver. Like magic, waivers are granted that allow construction, and the new homes are sold. Then the homeowners find out about the flood zone from their insurance company.
Flood insurance should not exist for rivers, streams, and ocean beaches. If people choose to live in these areas, it should be with the certain knowledge that they will lose their total investment if the floods or storms destroy their homes. Our generosity should be confined to six months in a FEMA trailer a few hundred miles from their destroyed property. The governments are not your nannies.
Edit: Plant, the Anderson Reservoir (less than 2 miles from my home) has been near empty and the dam under repair since 1998. It was 68% full last year and it did indeed perform it's flood control function this year. There was nothing to manage, the spillway is fixed and there are no floodgates, the spillway began overflowing once the water reached 100% capacity, and at the crest was 3 feet above the spillway. The pipe used to manage water levels is 24" in diameter, which was more than adequate to regulate levels to 68% capacity in the drought years, and totally inadequate with this year's rains. This level was chosen after a seismic study said that the dam (perched squarely on the Calaveras Fault) would fail after a quake of 6.6 magnitude. The earthquake retrofits to the dam were originally scheduled for completion in 2018.
I reside at 110' above sea level, about 50' above the dam, but if the quake happens and the dam fails, there would be an 8' wave of water in South San Jose along Coyote Creek, and a 35' wave of water would destroy all of low-lying Morgan Hill (which is South of the Valley) save for the houses on the hillsides.