After four days of stormy weather doused the City, crews of over 1,000 Utilities and Public Works employees responded to more than 1,000 calls about clogged storm drains, trees down, or street lights out. Other staff took 12-hour shifts and went into 24/7 monitoring of levees, creeks, and canals to minimize the flood risk to our community. First responders and police were also out in force. The storm was the wettest in many years. Eight thousand sandbags were distributed out of two locations.
For the first time since January 2006, the City had to install floodgates over the Union Pacific Railroad Tracks that pass through the levy system. The stop logs remain in place until the water recedes. Although seldom necessary, City crews are periodically trained on installation. The gates are part of the City’s flood protection system and keep water in its designation flood plain along the Natomas East Main Drain Canal.
Crews also erected the Del Paso Flood Gate which remains closed. Northgate Boulevard remains closed between Garden Highway and Del Paso Boulevard. Del Paso Boulevard remains closed between Northgate Boulevard and Railroad Drive. Also still closed are Raley Blvd. at Magpie Creek and Highway 160 Exit 4A at Northgate Boulevard.
The City’s Department of Utilities staff responded quickly to protect a levee near Pioneer Reservoir after crews spotted erosion on Monday morning. The crew placed a large 20′ envelope made of sandbags and rock at the site and prevented the potential for flooding.
Keeping streets from flooding, especially in older neighborhoods where drainage is antiquated is a challenge. City crews were out the day prior to the storm cleaning drains from leaves and debris, to reduce street flooding.
The Utilities Operations Center manages emergency and storm-related events and was open for five days to manage and coordinate the strategy to continuously respond to any issues related to the rain. The Operations Center supports the crews that are in the field and serves as the communications center to the public, media, Mayor and Council, and other agencies.
Although the Combined Water Treatment Plant and Pioneer Reservoir were at full capacity, Utilities staff maintained our combined sewer system to keep water out of the streets.