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Save the Annex or risk flooding the hospital?

Original post made on Sep 14, 2011

In early October the City Council will be asked to either protect the El Camino Hospital area in a major flood or keep a flood basin out of one the city's last pieces of untouched open space -- the Cuesta Annex.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 1:53 PM

Comments (8)

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Posted by Jimmy
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Daniel,
You used the inaccurate term, ". . city's last pieces of untouched open space."
The Annex is neither the last open space or untouched. There were foundations for construction there at one time. The open space along the Stevens Creek trail, south of El Camino is almost untouched and is quite large. When the overpass goes in the open space will get larger as it will when the east side of 85 opens up.


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Posted by @Jimmy
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Sep 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm

It would be interesting for the paper to do a history of the annex since most people haven't heard of the foundations in the 70s, etc.


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Posted by So of Cuesta Drive
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 15, 2011 at 10:18 am

But district officials warn that a new alternative -- a "catchment pipe" under Cuesta Drive -- would allow flooding of a residential area --- south of Cuesta Drive --- where the Annex basin would otherwise provide some protection.

Does anyone know the specifics of what streets are included in the residential area "south of Cuesta Drive"...?


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Posted by Cynthia Riordan
a resident of another community
on Sep 15, 2011 at 12:44 pm

What the article doesn't say is there is only a 1% chance in 100 years that Permanente or Hale Creeks will flood. That's a 99% chance there will not be a flood and how many things in life have a 99% chance at anything? If there is a flood, maximum height of the water would be 12 inches. Spending $40 million for a 1% threat is wasteful and there are many more deserving projects in CA, such as repairing our reservoirs in the event of an earthquake.


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Posted by Kevin McBride
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Cynthia is wrong about the risk of flood -- it is not 1% in 100 years, it is 1% every year. The "100 year flood" protection is a national standard. For more information about that see this page from the US Geological Society (USGS): Web Link

It is also possible to have much larger and more frequent floods -- for example, Binghamton, NY had a 500 year flood in 2006 and another 500 year flood in 2011: Web Link Prior to 2006, they had not had a big flood since 1936.

Last year, the USGS and FEMA convened a conference to discuss preparation for a major storm in California -- they refer to the storm of 1861 which is also recorded as a major flood in Mountain View: Web Link They say that the geological record shows this type of storm happens in California every 150 years or so.

It's reasonable to question the cost / benefit of flood protection in Mountain View, but I think those opposed to the Cuesta Annex basin minimize the flood risk to further their cause.


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Mr. McBride makes some excellent points. He is correct on the 1% per year probability. His comment about the two 500 year floods in 6 years could be an extremely unlikely event OR maybe faulty statistics. I also disagree with his last point. Those that minimize the risk of a flood are just clueless about statistics.


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Posted by Koyto
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Sep 18, 2011 at 7:10 am

Let the hospital flood. It's unaffordable for most and in the event of a national disaster will be unable to handle any significant number of people while it attempts to bill to the stars anyone who gets in its doors. Cut top management's salaries and build a levee wall around the hospital it is so precious. I'll take my chances anyway. After all, the city sure isn't doing anything to prevent my house from flooding during a 100 year flood. This probably has more to do with the proximity of certain council persons homes to the proposed flood basin anyway.


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Posted by Frank Ski
a resident of Whisman Station
on Sep 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Flood insurance....if they can afford to pay $695k plus up to a 20% bonus 4 a new CEO, why can't ECH just purchase flood insurance? Jus' sayin.


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