I recently read the book Cadillac Desert (by Marc Reisner), and while I have no particular love for the Army Corps of Engineers (you folks took my grandparents’ best bottomland for pennies on the dollar after Reclamation stripped away the water rights on North Fork Stony Creek for Black Butte), it is obvious the Corps is the appropriate builder for this project.
If you don’t tackle this project, someday, maybe this winter or maybe 100 years from now, we will have failed with three-days notice to evacuate 1.5 million people (or 10 times that many decades from now) from the footprint of the next Biblical Central Valley flood. People will look around and wonder why the Corps, that had the task of preventing the many deaths and tremendous property damage from such an event, saw it coming and did nothing about it.
As the U.S. Geological Survey will tell you, 1861-62 was the least of seven such floods to hit California over the past 1,800 years.
Michael J. Barkley, Manteca