From the Sierra Sun Times – The Central Valley is extremely vulnerable to severe flooding, and levees are the first line of defense. According to a recent annual risk assessment, 92% of properties and 97% of commercial buildings in the City of Stockton are at risk during a flood. The Safeguarding Our Levees Act ensures high-risk communities are protected and levees are quickly fixed by streamlining the Army Corps’ levee rehabilitation program. On Tuesday, Representatives Josh Harder (CA-9) and Clay Higgins (LA-3) introduced bipartisan legislation to protect communities from severe flooding and get damaged levees in flood-prone areas fixed as quickly as possible. The Safeguarding Our Levees Act would cut through the red tape that slows down the Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to repair levees – the bill also reduces the financial burden of levee improvements for local communities. After heavy rainfall like Northern California saw earlier this year, communities rely on the Army Corps to repair levees quickly before another flood. Right now, red tape can slow the Army Corps’ work to rehabilitate levees by months or even years, leaving communities unprotected for the next flood event. This legislation is endorsed by the San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency (SJAFCA). (more)