Devastating floods are almost annual occurrences in the West and in California. With the anticipated sea level rise and other impacts of a changing climate, particularly heavy winter rains, flood management is increasingly critical in California. Compounding the issue are man-made flood hazards such as levee stability and stormwater runoff.
For three weeks, Oroville Dam’s fractured main spillway and the surrounding hillsides have taken a nearly nonstop pounding. The stunning waterfall crashing down what’s left of the 3,000-foot concrete span has split the spillway in two and carved massive canyons on either side.
Billions of dollars in flood projects have eased fears of levee breaks near California’s capital and some other cities, but state and federal workers are joining farmers with tractors in round-the-clock battles this week to stave off any chain-reaction failure of rural levees protecting farms and farm towns.
As hundreds of frustrated residents returned home Thursday to begin cleaning up the damage from the worst South Bay flooding in decades, water district officials said they tried to warn city officials in the hours before Coyote Creek spilled into neighborhoods that potentially destructive flows would arrive within three to four hours.
At the end of the week Shasta County residents may see a brief pause in an otherwise active rainy season, but flooding will continue to pose a threat for many low-lying areas along the Sacramento River and near other tributaries.
A day after rescuers boated hundreds of people to safety during San Jose’s worst flooding in decades, city officials Wednesday let many of the 14,000 evacuated residents return home and blamed the sudden overflow of Coyote Creek on bad information about its capacity.
As heavy winter storms continue to hammer California, the Legislature is launching a review of dam and levee safety and bracing for major investments necessary to shore up flood control throughout the state.
Nine days ago, with the Oroville Dam under stress and battered by more harsh weather, Gov. Jerry Brown said he had no immediate plans to visit the site, suggesting “I don’t think they need politicians fluttering around.”
The Department of Water Resources plans to remove at least some of the debris at the bottom of the Oroville Dam spillway and study the structure, but just aren’t sure when they’ll have a chance to do that.
As the latest major storm to saturate California got in its final licks Tuesday, the state deployed all the weapons in its flood-control arsenal — including farm tractors, pontoon boats and controlled releases from mountain reservoirs.
After the state Department of Water Resources reached its goal early Monday morning of lowering the water level at Lake Oroville by 50 feet, officials said heavy rains would likely cause lake levels to rise several feet.
Creeks and rivers topped their banks, hundreds of homes were evacuated and several thousand people found themselves trapped in a rural hamlet as Northern California emerged Tuesday from yet another winter storm.
The spillway gates opened at Don Pedro Reservoir at 3 p.m. Monday, and over the next four or more days could nearly triple the flow of the Tuolumne River as it comes through Stanislaus County and Modesto.
The badly damaged main concrete spillway at Oroville Dam was pounded by massive volumes of stormwater this month, but its failures occurred well short of the maximum flow that engineers designed the system to handle.
The frantic effort over the last few days to lower water levels at Oroville Dam after the structure’s two spillways became damaged is part of a larger drama playing out as California rapidly shifts from extreme drought to intense deluges.
Officials raced to drain more water from a lake behind battered Oroville Dam as new storms began rolling into Northern California on Wednesday and tested the quick repairs made to damaged spillways that raised flood fears.
When operators of Oroville Dam suddenly ordered evacuations on Sunday, it focused a big spotlight on a crucial piece of California’s flood-control infrastructure – spillways. … Some of these dams are getting upgrades, albeit slowly.
Work crews repairing Oroville Dam’s damaged emergency spillway are dumping 1,200 tons of rock each hour and using shotcrete to stabilize the hillside slope, an official with the Department of Water Resources told the California Water Commission today.
The pace of work is “round the clock,” said Kasey Schimke, assistant director of DWR’s legislative affairs office.
At churches, fairgrounds and other makeshift shelters, thousands of Californians packed what belongings they had into garbage bags and suitcases to return home Tuesday, two days after they were told to flee the threat of massive flooding from a dam’s damaged spillway.
With both spillways badly damaged and a new storm approaching, America’s tallest dam on Tuesday became the site of a desperate operation to fortify the massive structures before they face another major test. … In a sign of the progress made Tuesday, officials downgraded the evacuation order to a warning, allowing all evacuated residents to return home.
President Trump issued major disaster declarations to enable federal funding for California on two fronts — to aid with the Oroville Dam spillway damage and mass evacuations and to help the state deal with the widespread effects of January’s storms.
There’s another storm bearing down on troubled Oroville Dam, set to begin late Wednesday. But state officials say they believe the precipitation will be mild enough – and the reservoir empty enough – to handle this latest challenge.
As the nation’s 84,000 dams continue to age, a growing number of people downstream of these structures are at risk, according to experts and data of the nation’s dams. … California has 1,585 dams, according to the National Inventory of Dams database. Fifty-two percent of those dams are considered a high hazard, the fourth-most of any state.
A huge Northern California reservoir, held in place by a massive dam, has always been central to the life of the towns around it. Now the lake that has brought them holiday fireworks and salmon festivals could bring disaster.
One day after the deterioration of an Oroville Dam spillway forced the evacuation of more than 180,000 people in the Sacramento Valley, a reservoir at the southern end of Santa Clara Valley flirted with an ominous milestone.
Gov. Jerry Brown asked the Trump administration for a federal disaster declaration for the emergency at Oroville Dam on Monday evening, citing the impending arrival of more storms and the potential need to resort again to the dam’s emergency spillway, which has been severely eroded.
As California waited Monday night to see if President Donald Trump would grant Gov. Jerry Brown’s request for emergency funding for 10,000 evacuees who lived in the shadow of the Oroville Dam, FEMA began preparing for the worse.
California’s recovery from drought has been so remarkably quick that reservoirs on the verge of record lows just a year ago are now too full to handle more rain, prompting dam operators across the state to unleash surpluses of water not seen in years.
Most of the time, motorists driving on Interstate 80 between Davis and here [Sacramento] look out on vast tracts of farms and wetlands. But over the last two weeks, something remarkable has happened in what is known as the Yolo Bypass.
After another round of heavy rains soaked parts of California, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency late Monday for several counties dealing with an estimated tens of million dollars in damage from flooding, erosion, and mud flows.
In the years before California’s drought, it wasn’t unusual for Sacramentans to spend winters worrying about floods. After more than five years with little rain, the past two weeks delivered a bracing reminder that the region remains vulnerable to rising waters and overtopped levees.
Rescue workers used boats and firetrucks to evacuate dozens of Northern California residents from their flooded homes Wednesday as a drought-busting series of storms began to move out of the region after days of heavy rain and snow that toppled trees and created havoc as far north as Portland, Oregon.
The Russian River surged to its highest level in a decade Wednesday and deepened flooding woes, while across the North Coast, crews in cities as well as rural areas scrambled to re-open roads, clear toppled trees, restore power and bring normalcy back to a region battered by four days of punishing winter storms.
A lull in a series of powerful winter storms gave Northern California a chance Monday to clean up from widespread flooding while also assessing how all that moisture is altering the state’s once-grim drought picture.
ARkStorm stands for an atmospheric river (“AR”) that carries precipitation levels expected to occur once every 1,000 years (“k”). The concept was presented in a 2011 report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) intended to elevate the visibility of the very real threats to human life, property and ecosystems posed by extreme storms on the West Coast.
Outgoing Rep. Sam Farr addressed a 23-member panel bringing together local representatives from four counties, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, municipal flood control staff members and the two candidates running to replace him on Nov. 8, Casey Lucius and Jimmy Panetta.
As the rainy season begins in California, so too does the potential for dangerous flash flooding. … California agencies are using a new computer monitoring tool to understand ground conditions in real-time, including areas burned by wildfire.
Back-to-back bouts of rain that began Monday will make for an unusually wet week leading up to Halloween, said forecasters who are beginning to grow concerned about potential flooding this winter in fire-scorched areas.
A hydrograph illustrates a type of activity of water during a specific time frame. Salinity and acidity are sometimes measured, but the most common types are stage and discharge hydrographs. These graphs show how surface water flow responds to fluxes in precipitation.
Prado Dam – built in 1941 in response to the Santa Ana River’s flood-prone past – separates the river into its upper and lower watersheds. After the devastation of the deadly Los Angeles Flood of 1938 that impacted much of Southern California, it became evident that flood protection was woefully inadequate, prompting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct Prado Dam.
Contrary to popular belief, “100-Year Flood” does not refer to a flood that happens every century. Rather, the term describes the statistical chance of a flood of a certain magnitude (or greater) taking place once in 100 years. It is also accurate to say a so-called “100-Year Flood” has a 1 percent chance of occurring in a given year, and those living in a 100-year floodplain have, each year, a 1 percent chance of being flooded.
Staffers with the county’s public works department and Community Development Agency were recently recognized for their creative approach to engaging residents in a discussion on sea-level rise, earning a public outreach award from the state chapter of the American Planning Association for their creation — the board game the “Game of Floods.”
A new $37.2 million levee in the town of St. Helena, on the floodplain of the Napa River, has a colorful history and has been stirring local acrimony since its inception. … There are clearly positive elements of the St. Helena levee project, but also numerous missteps that have mired the project in dissent and even, opponents argue, threaten to bankrupt the town. With important planning and zoning decisions now pending, the St. Helena levee is a case study for other communities to examine before they consider all of the options for flood-risk management.
In an effort to help maintain the balance between freshwater habitat and flood protection, the Monterey County Resource Management Agency brought in special crews to work at the Carmel Lagoon area Monday.
Local architect Cove Britton is seeking to correct what he contends are inaccuracies in preliminary flood insurance rate maps that could negatively affect his clients and their neighbors in tony Pleasure Point. … Three years ago, homeowners from Oregon to Maine complained about map inaccuracies, according to Pro Publica, an investigative journalism nonprofit that found money for FEMA’s map project was cut by Congress.
In record numbers, homeowners throughout the state rushed out to buy flood insurance in anticipation of the widely hyped – and feared – monster El Niño. …. And some are asking: Did all these insurance buyers make a monster mistake?
Years of rumbling dump trucks and backhoes placing 2.75 million tons of rock “armor” along nearly a dozen miles of riverbank is an unpleasant thought for many who bike, jog, fish, bird-watch, golf, boat and swim along the lower American River Parkway.
After years of drought, Northern California has so much water that the state’s two largest reservoirs are releasing water to maintain flood-control safety. … Shasta and Oroville are the twin anchors of California’s giant water-delivery networks.
With Lake Oroville rising more than 82 feet this month, the water level is now cutting into the buffer needed for flood control. … Other north state reservoirs have increased their outflows as they encroach on flood control limits.
As Californians hope for rain and snow to end the state’s extreme drought, a decades-old rule prohibits reservoirs from filling up in the winter, so some water ends up being released. The rule may sound odd given how chronically dry California is, but it’s actually to prevent a bigger disaster: flooding.
Water from the rain-swollen Sacramento River began flowing over the Fremont Weir and into the Yolo Bypass on Saturday morning, according to monitors at the California Nevada River Forecast Center, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The first of a pair of storms pounded Northern California on Thursday, bringing heavy bands of rain to the North Bay, causing minor flooding and mudslides, and raising the specter that the flood-prone Russian River might spill its banks.
A long arm across Rainbow Harbor prevented piles of detritus from landing on local shores and floating into the sea earlier this month, when heavy rains soaked the region and sent tons of trash and debris downstream from cities along the Los Angeles River and into Long Beach.
He’s [Nick Blom] a volunteer in an experiment run by UC Davis that could offer a partial solution to California’s perennial water shortages, and in the process, challenge some long-standing tenets of flood control and farming in the Central Valley.
Last week, as long-awaited rains arrived in California, FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] announced a recent 12% increase in the number of flood insurance policies written statewide — a rise the agency said was the “first of its kind in recent history.”
Officials of the city, county and Army Corps of Engineers announced Friday that there will be $3.6 million in emergency federal funding for flood prevention measures along the Los Angeles River following the first El Niño-related storms this week.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin work next week to temporarily raise the banks along nearly three miles of the Los Angeles River to improve flood protection during El Niño storms, officials announced Friday, just days after the watercourse roared to life during heavy rains.
In the arid agricultural expanse of the southern San Joaquin Valley, there was once water for miles in every direction. Tulare Lake – once the largest lake west of the Mississippi River – covered 600 square miles of land near Bakersfield and provided life for waterfowl, fish and native Californians. … Now, Steve Haze wants to bring water back to the parched basin.
Federal disaster officials warned Tuesday that El Niño-fueled storms in California could inflict millions of dollars in damage this winter — from mud-soaked homes to broken levees to downed electrical lines — and said they’re taking steps to minimize the toll.
The funds, from the Department of Water Resources’ Flood Systems Repair Program, will allow the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency to improve a section of levee near Laurel Avenue south of Star Bend, further expanding a multi-year project to raise the flood protection in urban and rural areas to 200- and 100-year levels, respectively.
As California braces for torrential downpours this winter from El Niño, authorities have stockpiled extra sandbags across the state while putting hundreds of personnel through flood-control training, officials told state lawmakers on Wednesday.
A Wednesday state Senate hearing dove into a topic on the mind of many Californians, examining how an anticipated El Niño surge of wetness could affect residents and force a pivot from drought preparedness to flood response.
With the strongest El Niño conditions in nearly 20 years already underway in the Pacific Ocean and chances increasing for heavy storms this winter, federal emergency officials on Friday urged Californians to buy flood insurance — even those who don’t live near creeks or rivers.
It was the latest in a series of October storms that could provide a preview of what’s in store in the coming months as an El Niño system moves in and threatens to bring unstable weather to the Southwest…. California is bracing for a rainy winter, potentially easing the drought while creating new problems such as flooding and mudslides.
Northern Los Angeles County was pummeled Thursday by a series of torrential downpours that caused mudslides and flash floods that inundated roads, trapped drivers and forced the closure of nearly 40 miles of Interstate 5, cutting off California’s main north-south artery.
A soaking El Niño weather system is in the forecast, promising to pummel California with torrents of rain by the end of the year. That would seem like Champagne-popping news as this state suffers through its worst drought in a millennium.
Among all the apocalyptic disasters that Californians routinely prepare for — earthquake, drought, wildfire, carmageddon — the most welcome is rain, even though giant El Niño events like the one currently massing in the Pacific can bring their own set of calamities: flooding, mudslides, carmageddon with hydroplaning.
Californians across the state have responded en masse to the call for lifestyle changes, curtailing water use, particularly when it comes to watering their lawns. And some have responded in a manner more concerning to government officials: They canceled their flood insurance.
While drought-plagued California is eager for rain, the forecast of a potentially Godzilla-like El Niño event has communities clearing out debris basins, urging residents to stock up on emergency supplies and even talking about how a deluge could affect the 50th Super Bowl.
With forecasters saying that this winter’s El Niño could be among the most powerful on record, officials preparing for the expected downpours are focusing their attention on vulnerabilities in Southern California’s flood-control system.
In the historic heart of Napa Valley, a moderate climate and the alluvial soils deposited by the Napa River create perfect conditions for world-class cabernets. An acre of vines here sells for around $300,000, or 25 times the state average for irrigated cropland. Yet a group of landowners have ripped out 20 acres of these prized vineyards to make room for river restoration, with levee setbacks, terraced banks and native plants.
With El Niño conditions increasing the likelihood of extreme weather in California the rest of the year, a team of scientists from UC Santa Cruz and the Nature Conservancy has published a study that provides a method for the state to reduce the risk of flooding, save coastal buildings and structures, and preserve habitat.
Flash flooding washed out a stretch of I-10 near Desert Center in southeastern California. And with a potential El Niño coming later this year, there could be a lot more flash floods up and down the state.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday declared a state of emergency for San Diego County due to damage caused by the weekend rainstorms … The emergency declaration was also issued for Los Angeles, Riverside, Imperial, Kern and San Bernardino counties.
If a potentially historic El Niño brings powerful floods to Southern California this winter, Sunday’s rain-induced bridge collapse could be a preview of highway hazards to come. Across California, state officials list about 450 bridges as potentially unstable during intense floods.
One of the city’s more tranquil Delta settings would be the scene of two years of intense construction work, and would have a decidedly different look for decades into the future if a plan to build a floodgate near the mouth of Smith Canal moves forward.
Country Club residents are one step closer to shedding a high-risk flood zone designation, after state officials agreed this week to contribute $22 million toward the construction of a gate near the mouth of Smith Canal.
Marshes that rest along bayside Marin could protect communities from storms, flooding, erosion and sea-level rise, according to a new NOAA study. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study looked at different reports addressing how natural processes protect shorelines — which it turns out they do quite well.
Recently, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature announced a $1.1 billion drought relief plan for California. But the $660 million allocated for flood management had many observers scratching their heads.
A massive earthquake in the central Aleutian Islands in Alaska could send waves as high as 28 feet crashing into Rodeo Cove near Sausalito, according to data presented Tuesday at Marin’s first-ever tsunami preparedness symposium.
In any lowland, levees define how humans live and how they disrupt native habitats. This is as true for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as it is for coastal Louisiana, Vietnam and the Netherlands. Flood safety in the Delta is a statewide concern because the region serves as a hub for delivering water to most Californians and supports native fish.
Los Angeles River activists, heartened by the momentum behind revitalization of upstream sections of the waterway, asked water officials on Thursday to return the downstream portion to a more natural state by halting removal of vegetation on the last 11/2 miles of the river.
Russian River water managers and consumers they serve in Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties got a break Wednesday from the prospect of watching precious water flow to the ocean from the rapidly filling Lake Mendocino reservoir near Ukiah.
Edward Hitti, the city’s public works director, said officials worked with the Los Angeles County Flood Control District to increase the storage capacity at three of La Cañada Flintridge’s nine catch basins.
Sacramento and San Joaquin valley agencies seeking to reduce flood risk in local cities and suburbs may be eligible for a portion of $150 million in state funds for flood management efforts, the Department of Water Resources announced today [Jan. 26].
Even though Californians remain gripped in a brutal drought, high waters will inevitably come again. The past is prelude to the future, and exactly 50 years ago, residents of towns and homes along every stream and river in Northern California were reeling from the most damaging flood we’ve ever seen.
The recent flooding and near closure of Highway 101 during storms and high tides is a preview of things to come. … Sea-level rise will happen, no matter what actions we take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
The biggest tides of the year are arriving this week, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a flood advisory for the Bay Area Monday through Wednesday and spurring climate researchers to take to the coast for a look at what a future might hold with rising seas.
Cars stranded in high waters, traffic backups and the potential for damage to hybrid buses are among the fallout from the low-lying interchange just steps from San Francisco Bay — an area that may provide a glimpse of what’s to come for much of the coastline as sea levels rise amid global warming.
More than a decade ago, an SN&R writer interviewed Sacramento native Joan Didion about her then-new book, Where I Was From. Part of the conversation involved the development of Natomas, which Didion remembered fondly. “It was always so beautiful,” she said, “even when it was underwater.”
A pair of regional flood management studies that are meant to identify problems, look at ways to address the issues and identify funding sources to make fixes has also determined some concerns aren’t easy to rectify.
California needs to significantly increase its annual spending on flood protection infrastructure to help close an “investment gap” that places the state’s flood preparedness at risk, legislators were told during an informational hearing today [Jan. 13].
When the last big December storm was at its peak, overflowing storm drains and flash-flooding streets gave San Jose’s bayside community of Alviso an all-too-real reminder that if not for the levees and pumps, they’d be underwater.
By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened by 30 or more days of flooding each year due to dramatically accelerating impacts from sea level rise, according to a new NOAA study, published today in the American Geophysical Union’s online peer-reviewed journal Earth’s Future.
Ebenezer Scrooge isn’t the only one to visit Christmas Past. Every season our memory, however imperfect, whips out reminders of oft-told tales from a lifetime of Christmases in the wilds of the North Coast.
The latest in a string of storms noisily marched across Southern California on Wednesday, hurling lightning bolts, coating mountains with snow and unleashing downpours that triggered a freeway-blocking mudslide before mostly moving on.
While the Bay Area’s “storm of the decade” left many residents shrugging about its strength (San Francisco got less than 3.5 inches of rain), our infrastructure tells a different story. Local school districts and businesses closed their doors in droves. … Power outages throughout the Bay Area, and overwhelmed sewage systems in different places, including San Francisco, showed how stressed our infrastructure has become.
Two local environmental groups filed a lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court challenging the Board of Supervisors’ recent approval of the controversial Devil’s Gate Reservoir Sediment Removal Project.
The deluge meteorologists warned about, deemed to be the strongest to hit Monterey County in seven years, arrived and it delivered floods, road closures, power outages and plenty of rain throughout Thursday.
A dangerous storm system blamed for two deaths in Oregon, thousands of power outages in Washington and flooded roadways in the Bay Area that kept many from work and school pushed into Southern California on Friday, causing mudslides and evacuations.
From swift and fluid mudslides to massive and lumbering landslides, gravity and water conspire to pull down the mountain peaks and green slopes that tectonic forces propped up. … As scientists have translated the details, California agencies and local communities have implemented practices to mitigate slide hazards.
Mother Nature walloped Northern California early Thursday after three years of drought, bringing a deluge of rain and heavy winds that brought down trees, cut power and wreaked havoc on the morning commute.
Heavy rains are predicted for California this week, and after the extreme drought of the past few years, California welcomes the moisture. But can there be too much of a good thing? While drought is a significant natural hazard Californians must contend with, the natural hazards of severe weather and flooding are equally significant in the feast or famine cycle of storms in California.
As rain starts to fall in California after a long drought, people’s attention turns to landslides. It is common for hazardous landslides and debris flows to occur in California after heavy rain when the ground is saturated. … USGS conducts scientific studies in several areas related to landslides, climate, and wildfire.
A storm expected to be one of the windiest and rainiest in five years pushed across parts of Northern California early Thursday as schools canceled classes and residents stocked up on supplies. … The storm is expected to later pound parts of Southern California before a weakening system moves east through Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and New Mexico.
The two seasons in Southern California — dry and wet — will flip-flop for the second week in a row Thursday night as the region seesaws from sunny to soaked. Warm and dry will quickly give way to wet and — for those who live near burned out hillsides — worrisome.
High wind and flash flood advisories were issued for the North Bay as the most powerful storm in years was expected to roar through the region early Thursday. … National Weather Service forecasters, citing concerns about floods, mudslides, toppling trees, power outages and extremely hazardous road conditions, advised residents to stay home and be prepared.
Hours of downpours brought California some relief from a devastating drought and produced few of the problems such as flooding and mudslides that the long-awaited storm had threatened – at least so far.
Floodplains are extremely productive habitats for native fish and birds, yet floodplains in California are cut off from rivers by levees and development. … Recognizing these constraints, reconciliation ecology encourages land and water managers to re-engineer human-dominated landscapes to be more hospitable for native species without significantly diminishing human uses. California’s Yolo Bypass, an engineered floodplain on the Sacramento River, is an excellent case study of this new approach to native species conservation.
Still staggering under $24 billion in debt, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will increase flood-insurance rates up to 18 percent next year for those living in high-risk flood zones, including the Smith Canal area of Stockton.
Southern California’s foothills and mountains could see 2 to 5 inches of rain Tuesday and Wednesday while the region’s coasts and valleys could receive about half that, according to the National Weather Service.
Despite strong opposition from neighbors and recreational enthusiasts, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a five-year project Wednesday to remove debris from a basin above Devil’s Gate Dam in Pasadena.
The state Office of Emergency Services, believing that the damage the city of La Quinta sustained from September’s storms does not meet the “minimum threshold,” has denied the city’s request for financial assistance to help fix millions of dollars in flood damage to homes, businesses and city infrastructure.
Marin is the 17th worst place to own a home in the country, almost as bad as Hurricane Katrina-ravaged Forrest County, Mississippi, according to a report from the Weather Channel website weather.com. Earthquake, flood and wildfire risk combined to land Marin in the list of America’s 50 worst places to own a house based on natural factors.
Three inches of rain fell across La Quinta within an hour on Sept 8. It was deemed a “700-year storm” … On Thursday, Riverside County Fire/Office of Emergency Services, the California Office of Emergency Services and the U.S Small Business Administration visited 81 homes and businesses in La Quinta, Indian Wells and Thousand Palms.
The impacts of urban flooding are also on the rise, which is why Rep. Mike Quigley (D – IL) and Rep. Peter King (R – NY) introduced the bipartisan Urban Flooding Awareness Act of 2014 (H.R. 5521) in Congress earlier last month. … Urban flooding refers to the flooding of basements, backyards, and streets of homes and businesses caused by too much rain overwhelming drainage systems and waterways.
Rugged and isolated, the Rubicon River Valley on the border of El Dorado and Placer counties was for many years an idyll of old growth trees and icy swimming holes. … Experts now worry that the devastation and the extreme temperatures of the fire, which scorched much of the soil and reduced its ability to hold together and absorb runoff, could lead to floods and mudslides when winter storms arrive.