Floods have been common in the greater Sacramento area as far back as the 1800’s. Sacramento is surrounded by many rivers and the delta, some that lead up to the Sierra mountains. Flooding is common in the winter and spring seasons due to heavy rain fall, warm rain up in the Sierra causing excessive amounts of snow to melt, and also just having the annual snow melt when the weather warms up. Threw out the years here have been levees and dams built to help prevent the flooding from our rivers. Levees are walls that were created along side of the river. Dams are a more effective flood control they are also have water storage and they can also generate hydroelectric power (notes). “Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you wont in the feature. Flood risk isn’t biased on history, it is also biased on a num of factors; rainfall, river-flow, tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and developing (floodsmart). A flood can cause an extensive floodplain, this is an area occupied by water that exits a river channel during a flood; includes most of the greater Sacramento area. Also during a flood natural levees along rivers get created, this is a Raised area created precisely where river exits its channel during a flood. this is due to where turbulence and velocity diminish rapidly; extra sediment deposits, creating a natural levee. During a flood, velocity of the water slows down and Extensive sediments are deposited, this creates excellent soils (notes).
December 9, 1861 the American River Levee failed causing a massive flood in the now known area of River Park. The following year homes among the streets of Sacramento were all raised up to fourteen feet. In 1880 the first Comprehensive Flood Control Plan was developed by the state engineer William Hammond Hall. The Flood Control Plan passed the authorization of the Folsom Dam that was finished in 1956. The Sacramento Valley Bypass System – The Key to Flood Control is “Controlled
Flooding” Developed in early 1900’s, conceived decades earlier: Landowners were paid for allowing their land to be occasionally flooded. Bypasses are inter-connected and flow roughly parallel to
Sacramento River. The Bypass system has huge capacity 600,000+ cfs: that is equaled to the average discharge of the Mississippi (notes). The last record flood that we have had in the area was back in 2007, I still remember this flood to this day. At the beginning of January rite after new years we started to experience excessive amounts of rain. My grandparents house is across the street from the American River, so my grandfather and I would go up to the levee every day to check to see how much higher the water had risen. Everyone was stalking up on can foods and water that would keep during a flood. Evacuation plans and sandbags were being delivered out to our area. The future options to improve on flood protection and to help decrease the risk of future floods is to improve and strengthen existing levee system: cheapest of all options; nonetheless, still costs about $1million per mile to improve a levee. Also remodel Folsom by raising it, it would provide significantly more flood storage capacity;