WILSON SEEKS MILLIONS TO REPAIR FLOOD DAMAGE, RESCUE TOURISM.Byline: Dan Smith Scripps-McClatchy Western Service
Endorsing a preliminary report from his top flood advisers, Gov. Pete Wilson For others named Pete Wilson, see .
Peter Barton Wilson (born August 23, 1933) is an American Republican politician from California. Wilson served as the thirty-sixth Governor of California (1991–1999), the culmination of more than three decades in the public arena that asked federal officials Thursday for nearly $1 billion in relief and suggested they do a better job restoring Northern California's water-logged river levees.
Wilson also called on state water officials to upgrade monitoring systems on the region's streams and rivers and ordered a $1 million media campaign to rescue the state's tourism industry, which the governor said has been socked by bad publicity.
But the Flood Emergency Action Team, which Wilson created Jan. 10 to suggest the state's immediate and long-term flood response, put off for now key recommendations that could lead to state-mandated building controls in flood plains and massive new reservoir projects.
The team's final report is due in May. It is responding to the early-January floods that inundated in·un·date
tr.v. in·un·dat·ed, in·un·dat·ing, in·un·dates
1. To cover with water, especially floodwaters.
2. 250 square miles of the Central Valley, killing nine people, damaging or destroying 23,800 homes and 1,900 businesses, and forcing the evacuation of 120,000 people, the largest emergency exodus in state history.
In a letter to President Clinton, Wilson asked that California flood relief be included in an omnibus disaster relief measure the White House is expected to send to Congress. The governor detailed $881 million in federal responsibility for levee levee (lĕv`ē) [Fr.,=raised], embankment built along a river to prevent flooding by high water. Levees are the oldest and the most extensively used method of flood control. repairs, highway reconstruction and a variety of flood-related bills. In addition, the governor said, the federal government should pay for an as-yet-undetermined amount of flood damage to orchards.
The governor acknowledged the state's requests exceeds federal limits for disaster assistance. The federal cap for highway repairs, for instance, is $100 million, about one quarter of the state's requests.
``It is becoming very clear that there is a growing gap between the actual cost of the damage from the floods and the amount of money that is statutorily available with the existing cap,'' Wilson said. ``We are asking and trust that in this time of great need the White House and Congress will do what's fair for California and not shortchange short·change
tr.v. short·changed, short·chang·ing, short·chang·es
1. To give (someone) less change than is due in a transaction.
2. us on disaster relief.''
Clinton spokesman Barry Toiv said the president had not yet received Wilson's letter, but pledged cooperation from the White House.
``The president for four years now has paid extraordinary attention to California's recovery efforts following natural disasters and fully intends to continue to do that,'' Toiv said. Wilson reported members of the House and Senate Appropriations committees had indicated support for the state's request.
The flood team report estimated the state's share at $154 million over several years.
Total damage to public and private property will be more than $1.8 billion, making it, as projected, the most expensive flood in Verb 1. flood in - arrive in great numbers
arrive, come, get - reach a destination; arrive by movement or progress; "She arrived home at 7 o'clock"; "She didn't get to Chicago until after midnight" state history, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the report. The bulk of the damage - $500 million - was attributed to public roads and interstate highways, with $380 million in damage assessed to private homes and businesses, $300 million to flood control facilities and $250 million to agriculture.
Estimates are expected to soar higher after receding water reveals more damage, said Douglas Wheeler, Wilson's resources secretary. A state contractor, for instance, estimated damage to the state's tourism facilities at $230 million, but that amount has not been included in the total because it has not been verified.
Embracing a key recommendation from local flood advisory groups, Wilson also asked that federal crews rebuild levees to their pre-flood levels, which are designed to handle the worst flood in 100 years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is rebuilding the levees to lower, 25-year-flood levels.
``That is not adequate for the Sacramento basin,'' Wilson said, adding that lower levees would provide an inadequate channel to carry floodwaters this spring if another significant storm hits.
The corps of engineers, meanwhile, announced Thursday that it would conduct a comprehensive study of levees in the San Joaquin San Joaquin (săn wäkēn`), river, c.320 mi (510 km) long, rising in the Sierra Nevada, E Calif., and flowing W then N through the S Central Valley to form a large delta with the Sacramento River near Suisun Bay, an arm of San Francisco Bay. and Sacramento river Sacramento River
River, northern California, U.S. Rising near Mount Shasta, it flows 382 mi (615 km) southwest between the Cascade and Sierra Nevada ranges, through the northern Central Valley. basins.
To improve the state's flood response, the governor ordered the state Department of Water Resources to install water metering Water metering is the process of measuring water use through water meters. Prevalence
Water metering is common for residential and commercial drinking water supply in many countries, as well as for industrial self-supply with water. equipment at key points in the river system. The unmetered Yuba River The Yuba River is an important river in California and a major tributary of the Feather River, which is a tributary of the Sacramento River. The river begins as three separate forks, the north, south and middle, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. , in particular, fooled flood forecasters, said David Kennedy
David Anthony Kennedy (June 15, 1955 – April 25, 1984) was born in Washington, D.C. He was the fourth of eleven children of Robert F. , the department director.
``We were somewhat uncertain what was coming into the Feather from the Yuba during the storm,'' Kennedy said. ``Therefore we were a little uncertain with what to do with Oroville (dam), which also pours into that system.''
Wilson ordered a $1 million media campaign to boost tourism in the state. State commerce officials fear continuing publicity from the floods will deter potential tourists who are beginning to make summer vacation Summer vacation (also called summer holidays or summer break) is a vacation in the summertime between school years in which students are off for 3 months, depending on the country and district. plans.
Such an effect could be devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. to the industry, particularly small businesses, which ``just don't have the working capital to sustain long periods of reduced sales volume,'' said Julie Meier Wright, Wilson's commerce secretary.