The city of Sacramento, situated at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers, faces a constant threat of flooding. It is critical that there is a continued investment in efforts to minimize Sacramento's risk of flooding. Ensuring Sacramento has the necessary level of flood protection is one of my highest priorities. Every day, I am working with Sacramento's flood control partners - the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, CA Department of Water Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation - to move the city's flood protection work forward and to reach our goal of 200-year flood protection.
Flood protection efforts, like managing our rivers, is complex and takes many different partners working together to achieve our goals. Sacramento residents play a big part in that, and it is critical that residents have the flood insurance they need to protect their homes and businesses from potential damage. That is why I continue to advocate on behalf of Sacramento families and businesses to achieve higher levels of flood protection for the long-term that will lower their insurance costs, and to provide short-term relief through extensions of the preferred rate policies.
Folsom Dam Spillway -- Joint Federal Project
On January 11, 2008 ground was broken on the Folsom Dam Joint Federal Project (JFP).· This project includes the construction of a new auxiliary spillway, adjacent to the current dam.· When completed, much of Sacramento will have over 200-year flood protection. The JFP will also address critical needed dam safety work.· In conjunction with my congressional colleagues, I work to see that the Folsom Dam JFP was authorized in the Water Resources and Development Act of 2007.· The JFP will be completed in 2015 at a total cost of $1.3 billion.· In Fiscal Year 2010, I also secured an additional $63 million for this critical project.
Work is moving along on the Folsom Dam Joint Federal Project
After many years of levee improvements most of Sacramento has 100 year flood protection, but much work is still to be done and I am working hard to make sure ongoing levee work in Natomas, South Sacramento, and other areas is completed in the fastest time possible. For Fiscal Year 2010, I secured over $22 million in federal funds that will be designated to improve the levees on the Sacramento and American Rivers. Of that, the South Sacramento Streams will receive $2.5 million, the Sacramento River Bank Protection Program will receive $14.1 million, and the American River Watershed Common Features Project will receive $6.33 million to make improvements. The FY 2010 funding comes on the heels of $18 million of stimulus funding allocated to Sacramento area levee improvements in 2009 ($4 million of stimulus funding was allocated to South Sacramento Streams Group, $14 million to American River Watershed Common Features).
The trail of destruction left by Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the importance of investing in flood protection. This includes examining, maintaining and strengthening our levee and dam system. It also means looking beyond Sacramento's levee system to take a wider, watershed approach to managing high water events and finding ways to reduce the risk of flooding to begin with. Hurricane Katrina also told us that tougher standards are needed to ensure our levees are strong enough to meet the toughest storms.
With the major floods of 1986 and 1997, Sacramento experienced firsthand two close calls that remind us that disaster is all too close. The cost to minimize the risk of flooding is high, but the cost of doing nothing is much higher. I am committed to securing federal funds each year to improve the levees that protect Sacramento.
With thousands of residents living behind levees it is important for all of those that live in the flood plain to have flood insurance. In 2007, I authorized and won passage of three amendments to the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007. My amendments will increase the awareness of the National Flood Insurance Program, study ways to increase low income homeowners' ability to afford flood insurance and allow FEMA to use state of the art weather forecast technology when developing flood maps.
Congresswoman Matsui speaks on the House floor in support of legislation critically important to flood zone designations and the cost of flood insurance in the Sacramento region
Additionally, in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), I worked to see that Natomas residents will be able to purchase Preferred Risk Flood (PRP) Insurance Policies in 2011 and 2012. Over the course of the last year, I have continually worked with the Administration to ensure that homeowners in recently remapped areas have access to affordable flood insurance. Under this new policy, homeowners across the country that live in areas that have been remapped since 2008 will be eligible to renew their flood insurance at the Preferred Risk Policy price, rather than at the Standard X Zone cost – often four times at costly - in 2011 and 2012. That policy went into effect January 1, 2011.
Some insurance companies are asking for written verification that Natomas residents are eligible for the PRP rate in 2011 and 2012, without it they may be charge the full rate. Natomas residents that such verification can get it from the City of Sacramento by following these steps:
- Call the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities hotline at (916) 808-5061.
- Leave a message requesting documentation for the PRP renewal. Leave your name, address, phone number and the date in which you need your renewal documents completed by.
- You will receive a call back from the city within two days.
- The city will then send, fax or email you the document indicating your eligibility.
For more information to the availability of Preferred Risk Policies for 2011 and 2012 and the official FEMA documentation to take to your insurance agent, please click here: prp_guidance