The largest community in Sacramento is surrounded by water, the American River to the south, the Sacramento River to the west and north and a large drainage canal to the east.
Welcome to Natomas
Natomas is the largest community in Sacramento. Sacramento International Airport and Power Balance Pavilion is located are North Natomas.
It is the largest community in the area without emergency medical services. The nearest hospital is 11 miles away in midtown.
Flooding has always been a issue in Natomas
The Natomas basin is the lowest area in Sacramento. In 2008, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) imposed a building moratorium. This moratorium should end next year.
In an 2006 assessment, the corps said some sections of the levees were too low in other areas,water was seeping underneath the levees through the earthen berms, causing parts of the levee to slowly give way.
This isn’t the first building moratorium in Natomas the last one lifted in the 90’s
If there were a major breach in one or two of the levees that surround the Natomas basin, more than 110,000 Sacramentians could be trapped. The primary exits in and out of the community is Interstate 5 to the north and south and Interstate 80 to the east and west.
In 2008, Frank Mansell a FEMA spokesperson told Sacramento News and Review “ If the Sacramento River were to break through its east-side levees, the Natomas basin would be inundated with 20 to 23 feet of water, an inland sea double the height of Arco Arena’s basketball rims.
Northgate Boulevard in the Northgate/Gardenland area is often closed due to flooding. It is not uncommon for excess water to slow traffic on Interstate 5 between Garden Highway and West El Camino and on Interstate 80 between West El Camino and Truxel Road.
In the 90’s the Natomas Community Association(NCA) asked the city to consider raising Northgate Blvd between Garden Highway and Highway 160.
The Japanese Tragedy
With Katrina, the government revisited the levees in Sacramento. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said after Hurricane Katrina, Californians realized “our levees are in worse shape than the levees in New Orleans … Not only is Sacramento larger than New Orleans, it has more levees. A major breech or failure would not only effect Sacramento, it would effect most of the state.
The Sacramento River is the longest river in the state, the river through a series of canals provides water to most of the state.
400 million is being spent for levee improvements. The improvements and upgrades should provide the basin with 100-year flood protection strong enough to withstand floods occurring once every 200 years.
However is it enough? It there if a breach on the southside of the American River or the west side of the Sacramento River effecting downtown Sacramento, the nearest hospital is now 13 miles away.
With the Japanese tragedy, communities all over the world are revisiting exit strategy’s. what is Sacramento’s plan” Is there a design plan in Natomas for emergency facilities?
In most hospitals, telephone, electrical and generators are located in the basement or first floor. During Katrina, the ground floor of many hospitals flooded rendering the buildings unusable. An ideal for design for an hospital( in a flood zone) would be similar to an office building with the hospital above a parking structure in the event of a flood the building would be usable and accessible by air transport.
The primary goal for elected officials is quality of life . City leaders have authorized subsidies for hotels and other businesses downtown. Over 100,000 Sacramentians could be trapped in area without an hospital.