Officials Briefed on Levee Safety

With California’s rainy season and what had been dire predictions of an El Nino weather pattern now behind them, leaders of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District, brought together water safety officials from across the region July 7 to provide an update on the Corps levee safety and security issues.

Officials from several Bay-area counties who work on flood control projects involving levees, floodwalls and channels were briefed on inspection and safety related updates including revisions to the National Flood Risk Management Program.

We have a couple of federal projects and want to see if there have been any updates to policies or guidelines,” said Felix Meneau, an engineer with Marin County Flood Control who was among the attendees at the 8th annual San Francisco District Levee Workshop held at the Bay Model Visitor Center in Sausalito, Calif.

These types of events are invaluable because the rules and regulations change all the time. It’s hard to keep up with it,” said Lt. Col. John C. Morrow, the San Francisco District commander.

The Corps’ national flood risk management program, aimed at increasing the federal government’s ability to mitigate flood risk nationwide, is being revised.

The overall goal is to reduce the flood risk, and we want to make sure the structures are more resilient,” said Craig Conner, Flood Risk Management Program Manager for the district.

Levee and dam inspections are one way of ensuring the Corps and its non-federal partners will be prepared when this year’s rainy season returns to the Bay Area.

During a normal year, engineers in the district inspect about 55 flood risk-reduction projects including levees, floodwalls or channels to ensure they are properly maintained, to identify issues needing attention or to provide technical assistance.