What is your name?
Where do you live?
Marysville, CA; My work location for floodplain management and flood warning is in Roseville, CA
Have you ever been in a flood before?
Yes, a few times; one was a major flood
If so, on what date and at what time did this event occur? (approximately)
Jan 9 and 10 1995.
Where did it occur?
City of Roseville in California's Central Valley
What is your job at your flood mitigation organization?
Design, maintain and operate the flood warning system
About how many floods do you think occur each year?
I believe you are referring to the area I have responsibility for,
it is not uncommon for the creeks in Roseville to fill their banks and spill
into the floodplain several times a year. This is not a problem, it is on
the rare occurrence where the creeks rise to dangerous levels in the
floodplain and begin to threaten homes and roads.
What are some of the things you see in a flood area? (Please describe it visually.)
During a flood the most striking impression is the expanse of the
inundation and at certain locations the violent force of water furiously
churning, swallowing up the landscape. After the water has receded the
debris natural and man-made is everywhere.
What are some of the problems that come after a flood? Disease? Famine?
Disease from water borne pathogens is a big concern. Famine is not
the critical worry or really even disease, the lack of potable water can be
a tremendous problem. A bit ironic because it was too much water which
originally caused the disaster.
What sorts of preventative measures can people take to prepare for flood?
I have am sending the URL link and text of a pamphlet we send out to
residents every year which covers preparation for possible flood crisis.
Also the NOAA and ALERT systems links below have information on flood
What are some especially flood-susceptible areas around the world?
*I believe tops on the list is the Ganges in Central Asia. Others of
merit would be the Yangtze and Yellow in China, Nile River, the Mississippi
here and Po River in Italy. Another area is the Sacramento River valley in
California, although it is dwarfed by those others I mentioned, it has the
worst runoff volume to floodplain ratio in North America. Until flood
control work began in the not to distant past, large parts of the valley
became an inland sea during many winters persisting into the summer months.
What do you think can be done in the future to prevent more floods?
I am not going to get into a semantics debate here but honestly you
will not do much in preventing floods. It is part of the natural phenomenon
Mother Nature has always possessed. What can be done is reducing the damage
and loss of life from floods. First is to approach floodplains knowing that
they have this limitation as far as use and access, second do the best you
can in providing a warning mechanism to occupants along floodplains to give
enough lead time to protect lives and personal property. Lastly, continue
to educate and make people aware of the inherent danger in floodplain areas
during those times creeks and rivers spill over their banks.
Has your view towards life been changed in any way after working with so many floods?
No, except it has left a lasting impression that there are some
things in life you try your best to be aware of and prepare for, yet you
always must be flexible and prepare for the unexpected.
Do you have any last thoughts or personal stories that you would like to share?
It is usually less expensive and more useful to keep people away
from the water than water away from the people. You have to have an
underlying respect for the immense power and impact a river can have on
peoples lives. We tend overall as an occupant of this planet to be
ego-centric, and underestimate our natural surroundings.