The San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority
and the cities of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park recently sent a letter
requesting to accelerate U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
approval for a permit to construct a locally funded flood protection project. The letter, sent to Brigadier General Mark Toy, South Pacific Division Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, seeks Corp of Engineers’ support for planning of a federal project and the approval for a Corps permit to begin construction of a local flood protection and ecosystem restoration project
. Despite the fact that this project will protect a previously flooded neighborhood, where rooflines are below the top of an unstable levee, and the fact that it creates more, higher value wetlands than it impacts, the permit application submitted to the Corps 28 months ago still has not been approved. This winter’s predicted El Niño event, which is anticipated to be the strongest one since 1997-98 when San Francisquito Creek flooding damaged 1,700 properties, is a concern facing all three cities adjacent to the creek. The SFCJPA and its member agencies – including the cities of Menlo Park, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and San Mateo County Flood Control District – are now taking action to improve safety while awaiting regulatory approvals to begin construction of the more substantial project.