At the second local meeting to discuss area levees and flood protection, Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency Director Bill Edgar introduced the idea of an Early Implementation Project (EIP).

At the second local meeting to discuss area levees and flood protection, Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency Director Bill Edgar introduced the idea of an Early Implementation Project (EIP).


The project includes a couple options, both costing in the 100s of millions of dollars. One option is to put a large concrete curtain through the levee, 150 feet deep, to stop water seepage. Another option is berm stabilization, essentially building up seepage berms on the land side of the levees. These large areas of dirt would add weight to the back side of the levees.


The project is still in the early stages of development. It would be implemented on the west bank of the Feather River from Yuba City to the Thermalito Afterbay in Oroville and would be completed by 2013. The levees in that range have been found to not meet the minimum protection standards of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).


FEMA is in the process of remapping levees nationwide. Should a levee not meet the minimum standards, FEMA will map as if the levee doesn't exist. They're required by law to show on the map that the area behind that levee is not protected. An engineer would have to certify the levee.


The Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency thinks the EIP might provide protection at the 100-year storm (or possibly higher) level to most of the residents of the Yuba City Basin from 7 to 10 years faster than the US Army Corps of Engineers program. The Corps is still conducting a feasibility study.


The deficiencies in the levees will cost the public in one of two ways - with increased flood insurance rates, or by supporting a proposal to fix the levees. Home owners with a federally insured mortgage will be required to have flood insurance.


The meeting at Manzanita Elementary School last week was called as an update on the situation, and it was announced that another meeting will take place that will focus more on insurance issues.