State of Levees "Actually Pretty Good," says Official

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The Sacramento region faces some of the same flooding questions as New Orleans, two years after Hurricane Katrina.  And two top local elected officials said Wednesday they believe Sacramento County is making progress on protecting the area from both man-made and natural disasters. 
“I think the state of the levees is actually pretty good,” says 1st-district Sacramento County Supervisor Roger Dickinson. “We’re not where we want to be.  But I don’t think people should be overly concerned right now that we are under-protected.  We have good protection – just not as much as it would be prudent to have.”
Sheriff John McGinness says there are two areas of preparation.  One is infrastructure – not just the levees, but also intelligently managing development in flood-prone neighborhoods.  The other is making sure that when a disaster doeshappen, both residents andfirst responders are ready. 
“If we fail to do so," McGinness said, "we’re talking about mass casualties, destruction of property, and panic and loss of the quality of life here.”
The officials made their comments after an event to promote a program that distributes kits to help vulnerable residents evacuate safely and quickly during disasters.