WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS – Hamilton City leads California in a new approach to managing rivers.

From Pacific Standard– Jose Puente’s boots were on, his slicker ready by the door. It was New Year’s Eve, 1994, and rain was drumming hard and fast on the flat, metal roof of the Hamilton City Fire Hall. Across town the Sacramento River was swelling by an inch an hour in the channel that bends around the rural community 90 miles north of California’s state capital. Puente, the town’s fire chief at the time, had already sent firefighters door-to-door to evacuate the community’s nearly 2,000 residents. As midnight approached, he and two volunteers headed out to the J Levee, the only bulwark between the river and Hamilton City. A few minutes later, Puente stood at the edge of the levee and watched as uprooted trees plummeted down the channel toward Sacramento, and waters raged just a few feet from the top of the barrier. Muddy swirls of water boiled out on the riverside of the 13-foot-high earthen berm. If the J Levee broke, Hamilton City would be in the direct path of the flood. (more)

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Darren Suen has been selected for the Board’s new Policy Advisor position. He performed this function in Acting capacity for the last year, working to raise awareness about the Board’s role in flood management and to advance flood policies that support public safety and provide benefits to the environment and agriculture communities. Prior, Darren was the Department of Water Resources serving as Program Lead and Policy Advisor for the Assistant Division Chief of the Flood Management Division and the Deputy Director in Flood Operations Center during flood emergencies. Darren has a long career in program management and flood control, working in private, State, and federal agencies. Currently, he also serves as a member of the Elk Grove City Council. Congratulations to Darren!

Michael Wright has been selected to fill the Chief Engineer position beginning April 2, 2019. Michael has been with the Board since 2011. During his tenure, Michael has held multiple supervisory positions, including Enforcement Section Chief, Acting Operations Branch Chief, and Plan Implementation and Compliance Branch Chief. For the past eight months, he has been filling the Chief Engineer role. Congratulations, Michael Wright.