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Original post made
on Jun 16, 2012
I received a notice of a City Council Meeting next Tuesday @ 6:30pm about the Water District's Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project. I did a search for this project and found the District's descriptive page and associated fact sheet which states the following:
Permanente Creek has a history of flooding, having experienced major flooding in 1862, 1911, 1940, 1950, 1952, 1955, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1995 and 1998.
I then researched the District's Flood Reports. There is none for 1968, but the 1967's report says "Recent improvements on Permanente Creek functioned well." The 1995 report said "Permanente Creek overflowed at Park Drive and damaged two units of an apartment building." The 1998 report said "Permanente overflowed between Park Drive and Amphitheater Parkway." There was no mention of damage in 1998.
Of these three, all were down-stream from the Cuesta Park Neighborhood. I've lived in this neighborhood since January 1968, and I've never seen Permanente Creek overflow in our neighborhood.
I believe this is a boondoggle project, and the money would be better spent providing flood insurance to the Park Drive properties, or widen the channel of Permanente Creek in the Park Drive area, or provide a McKelvey Park basin.
Not to argue the specifics, but the generally accepted way of doing flood control is to do it UPSTREAM of areas prone to flooding, so it would make logical sense that IF flood control was needed, it would take place upstream from where the flooding occurred.
"A controversial plan for a city history museum in the back of the Annex was recently voted down by the City Council."
I don't think that's true. The council did reject putting a house in the annex, but they approved the museum several years ago. The reason the museum died recently was the historical association couldn't raise the funds before the deadline.
I think the flood that the water district is trying to protect against is not represented in the recent history -- only one of those dates listed was likely to be a 100+ year flood -- 1862. That flood was a huge one all over California -- it resulted in a temporary lake in the Central Valley that was 300 miles long and 20 miles wide. It's this type of rare event that the 100 year flood standard is meant to protect against. However, even the 100 year protection may not be enough for this type of flooding -- the whole Silicon Valley is one big flood plane -- that's why it was such good agricultural land and that's why it is all in the FEMA 500 year flood zone.
Also, just for accuracy, the water district never proposed at 30-35 ft deep basin -- the deepest proposed was 20-23 ft.
And the Council did not vote down the history museum, the Historical Association withdrew from the process before the first fundraising report was due. I think the report would have shown that they had not raised nearly enough to meet the goal or to even make a case for more time.
30-35 acre feet of water capture is drop in the bucket during a 100 year flood and renders the land useless. What a stupid idea!!
Annex has been vacant unused land for the two decades I've lived need it. If it is public land - use it for public good. A 1% flood basin is useful. [dateline Los Angeles] The Sepulveda flood basin was built in 1940 and did a lot to prevent property damage in the 1994 floods. This is a similar small scale project to protect Mountain View. The Sepulveda basin is both undeveloped and developed parklands.
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