San Joaquin Prepares For Disaster

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(Stockton, CA)
Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Even before the breach in the levee on Jones Tract Island during the summer of last year, officials in San Joaquin County had been worried about a major flood in the area.

The problems that followed the flooding of New Orleans ratcheted up concern about a levee failure and subsequent flood in the Central Valley.

Ronald Baldwin, the Director of Emergency Operations for San Joaquin County says in case of a disaster there's isn't any military type chain of command that has been established. He says that's why all interested parties are meeting on a regular basis to ensure a response would be coordinated.

"We sit down with down with the jurisdictions before the flood looking at issues that could arise and different scenarios and try to get some consensus on how we would deal with it."

Assessments of the extensive levee system in the Central Valley indicate that a major flood could cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

Some experts have suggested the state work more closely with local governments on a response plan.