Feds Say Natomas Levees At High Risk

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

FEMA and the US Army Corps of Engineers say Natomas levees in their current state are unacceptable. 

"We’re very concerned about public safety. We don’t think those levees are in as good a shape as they ought to be." 

Dave Killam with the Corps says they plan to rezone the area and that means people will have to buy flood insurance if they don’t have it already…

"….it also means that FEMA will impose some building restrictions." 

Under those restrictions, any new buildings will have to be 20-feet above ground.

The decision is a blow to local officials who started expensive levee improvements last summer. Sacramento Mayor Heather Fargo says it’s basically a ban on any new construction. 

"…and we’re also very worried that there’s going to be some key public facilities, like the library, the high school and the fire station that may not be allowed to be built."  

She says the city will go through the appeals process, look at legal options and may ask Congress to step in.