Permanente Creek has a history of flooding, having experienced major flooding on at least 11 occasions, most recently in 1998. Flooding can result in millions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses and schools.
Once completed, the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project will provide flood protection to approximately 2,200 properties in Mountain View and Los Altos. An estimated 630 parcels that are downstream of El Camino Real will be removed from the FEMA flood insurance rate map, meaning they will no longer be required to pay for flood insurance. This could potentially save those property owners over $1 million in insurance premiums.
The McKelvey Park project was built as a dual-purpose facility, providing flood protection to downstream neighborhoods and recreational space for Mountain View residents. Other community highlights of the McKelvey Park portion of the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project include terraced bleachers for families and fans to watch games; a mini-park facility with playgrounds, concession stand and scorekeepers' booths; storage; restrooms; and a community room.
On Feb. 29, the city of Mountain View and Valley Water held a ribbon-cutting event for the completion of the flood protection project at McKelvey Park, which was followed by a ceremonial first pitch and a Little League baseball game. I'd like to thank all the members of the community who joined us in this celebration. The event was a success, and the players treated everyone in attendance to a great day of baseball.
The construction at McKelvey Park happened simultaneously with creek widening work along Permanente and Hale creeks, located next to the fields. The overall efforts are part of Valley Water's commitment to keep residents and businesses safe through our flood protection programs.
Funds for the $89 million Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project derive from Measure B, the safe, clean water and natural flood protection special parcel tax that was overwhelmingly approved by Santa Clara County voters in 2012.
Another part of the project, flood protection improvement within Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve, is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. These improvements will also include additional parking and greatly improved restrooms.
The sunken baseball fields are approximately 4.5 acres and 18 feet deep. Valley Water built an inlet and outlet to allow water flows to enter and exit the fields. After large storms pass through and creek flows recede, captured water from the flood basin would then be slowly pumped back into the creek. Flood flows would inundate the site very rarely, and the ballfields would drain out in one to four days.
Valley Water appreciates the city of Mountain View's long-standing partnership on this critical flood protection project.
At the ribbon cutting on Feb. 29, we had a chance to hear from several members of our community. We'd like to hear from you as well. Please take a brief survey at safecleanwater.org and be heard!
Gary Kremen is a Santa Clara Valley Water District director. For further information, contact your elected district representative at [email protected] or (415) 305-3052.
This story contains 575 words.
Stories older than 90 days are available only to subscribing members. Please help sustain quality local journalism by becoming a subscribing member today.
If you are already a subscriber, please log in so you can continue to enjoy unlimited access to stories and archives. Subscriptions start at $5 per month and may be cancelled at any time.