The Rancho California Water District received a nearly $3.5 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency which will fund up to 75% of Phase 1 of the Vail Dam Hazard Mitigation Project. Phase 1 has already begun and includes pre-construction activities such as design, environmental compliance and permitting to upgrade the dam at Vail Lake, located east of Temecula.
Los Angeles County is the riskiest county in the country according to a new risk index – and Riverside and San Bernardino counties are not far behind.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Risk Index looked at 18 kinds of natural disasters, such as coastal flooding, drought, landslides, tsunamis, earthquakes, wildfires, strong winds, volcanic activity and heat and cold waves. The ranking also takes into account economic damage and the community’s ability to recover from a disaster.
Extreme weather will surely have its own chapter in the turbulent history of 2020. The human and economic toll of Covid-19 was already enormous this fall, when it became clear that 2020 was on track to break the previous record for big weather disasters, fueled in part by climate change. From the derecho that battered the Midwest with hurricane-force winds to unprecedented wildfires that scorched more than 700,000 acres in Colorado and gave California its worst fire season in history, weather and climate events like these represented only a few line items in the latest tally of the nation’s billion-dollar disasters.
With winter rains on their way, officials worry a dam that creates a small lake 17 miles west of Redding could collapse, inundating downstream homes with up to 20 feet of water if sediment and debris clogging two outlet pipes is not cleared.
Two 30-inch outlet pipes at Misselbeck Dam have been clogged with silt and debris since last summer, forcing water from Rainbow Lake to flow over the top of a deteriorated 100-year-old spillway, said Charles Tucker, president of the Igo-Ono Community Services District, which owns the dam.