By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
City Dodges Levee Survey Costs
Placeholder Image
Riverbank officials are rejoicing over an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency about the Stanislaus River levee adjacent to the River Cove subdivision.

Since nobody knew who constructed the levee - it was not the Army Corps of Engineers - FEMA was planning to require certification and a levee maintenance plan as part of its flood mapping process.

"This would have cost the city thousands of dollars and the River Cove homeowners would have been required to purchase flood insurance," said City Manager Rich Holmer in a memorandum to council.

But the city has discovered the subdivision builders Kaufman and Broad engineered and constructed their homes three feet above the 100-year or 1 percent flood episode (plain).

So the levee would not affect a flood - "the 1 percent annual chance flood is contained in the river's channel below the elevation of the toe of this levee reach," according to a FEMA letter.

"Bill Kull, (the city's consulting engineer) surveyed the lots again and this information was sent to FEMA. Kurt Vander Weide, representative of Congressman Radanovich, aided us through the political morass," said Holmer. "The levee just affords additional protection and unfortunately will remain an attractive nuisance."

FEMA has now agreed the levee's provisional accreditation is not required and any related requirement to provide certification documents as part of its flood mapping process has been withdrawn.

"This is a huge victory for the city," said Holmer, thanking city employees Luann Bain, Dave Melilli, Jerry Meyer, JD Hightower and Kull for their work in checking the information and avoiding heavy costs for the city.