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Potential California megaflood: What the Bay Area is doing to prepare

By Marianne Favro, NBC Bay Area, August 15, 2022

“UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain co-authored new research indicating we may see a megaflood similar to the one that turned streets into rivers in Sacramento in 1862.

“ ‘You’d see widespread mudslides and debris flows in the mountains, particularly in areas that have recently been affected by wildfires. You’d also see a lot of coastal flooding,’ [Swain said.]

“ ‘We’re looking at building setback levees, at building what we call flood walls or berms that are set back and give the creeks more area where it would be allowed to flood,’ Rechelle Blank with the Santa Clara Valley Water District said.

“Other solutions include elevating houses, directing flood water into parks, and restoring wetlands at the edge of the Bay to cope with sea level rise.

“ ‘[With our current mitigations, w]e would see enormous damage done to our airports, our freeways, our water treatment plants. Underserved communities would suffer severe flooding. We’d have a major infrastructure catastrophe,’ [said San Francisco Estuary Institute Executive Director Warner Chabot.]”

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