Posted on January 18, 2023
The Corps of Engineers built a channel in the San Lorenzo River after the 1955 flood that would contain a catastrophic flood by making the channel much deeper vs. wider. After finishing the project, the corps left town, turning maintenance of the channel to the city. In the years since, not only has sediment filled the bottom of this channel, making it significantly shallower today, but also vegetation and trees are cut down yearly, chipped, and left.
It is astonishing that the river did not overflow the levees in the storms of the last weeks. The Santa Cruz harbor is dredged yearly without fail. Where are the city leaders to make sure the San Lorenzo River channel is not dangerously shallow, possibly leading to flooding in the downtown in the next 100-year storm? The costs of dredging the river bottom would surely be less expensive than a massive downtown flood.
— Beth Ahrens-Kley, Santa Cruz
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