HUNNEMAN: The flood of '93 recalled
The coming week marks the 20th anniversary of one of the worst natural disaster to hit Southwest County in modern times.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Press-Enterprise.
#1 Jan 15, 2013
Temecula flooded because a cement batch plant was built out into the riverbed below Old Town in defiance of federal regulations. The County Flood Control Chief Engineer and Temecula Mayor were notified of flood danger from this by the Elsinore--Anza-Murrieta Resource Conservation District, while County code enforcement officers were notified of the danger posed by several thousand acres of improperly graded land being developed. A flood control employee confided at the time that no action would be taken because flooding would justify channelizing Murrieta Creek, bringing major profit to land owners along it. That obstruction still extends out to the center of the floodway, guaranteeing more flooding when another major storm arrives, because federal officials have been deceived and coerced into ignoring its blatant violation of ACOE regulations.
The Press-Enterprise has not informed its readers that the "Flood Control Project" was totally discredited by the Citizens for Responsible Watershed Management whose engineers demonstrated that applying commonsense land management upstream, as Fresno and Phoenix have done with huge success, would eliminate need for the Project. They also showed a broad range of spin-off benefits that would derive from this simplest, cheapest and most reliable method of preventing floods by preventing runoff in compliance with the CA Water Code.
Residents of the Valley would be drinking pure, cheap well water instead of slimy, salty, expensive Colorado River Water if their politicians had adopted commonsense planning instead of the absurdly inappropriate Murrieta Creek Flood Control Project. It is not too late for this planning if concerned citizens are willing to do their homework.
#2 Jan 20, 2013
It is unreasonable to think that residents of the Murrieta-Temecula valley will see sensible water resource management in the near future. The new politicians they elected are likely so naive they will believe the massive body of false premises and distorted data that have given us outrageously high land-water-energy-transit costs.
Will they meekly accept what agency chiefs lay before them as gospel?
Are they locked into believing the popular false conventional wisdoms that justify absurdly inappropriate water resource management?
Some of these misleading myths: "Centralized water management brings economy of scale".--- "Bureaucratic inertia delays adoption of best planning." --- Water importation is essential to the survival of Southern California",--- "Local planners understand local water problems better than federal experts".
As long as local politicians and the public believe these things the extortion through government by private profiteers will continue to drain more than $5,200, on average, from each household yearly. But just maybe some of the new politicians will be smart enough to seek out good information.
#3 Feb 4, 2013
The joint action of Riverside County and Murrieta to accelerate stormwater runoff from +-1,000 acres along Guava Street defy the California Water Code's explicit instructions "to guide all or any stormwaters into soils of the District" and will obviously increase the level of flooding downstream.
Last month the US Supreme County ruled that; "government-induced flooding of limited duration, but severe impact, can amount to a taking of property warranting just compensation".
This will give Fallbrook and Camp Pendleton ample justification for a lawsuit after the next major flood (historically overdue) claiming compensation for damages and asking punitive penalties due to the willful violation of State law.
These County and City agencies were notified repeatedly in public meetings by the Citizens for Responsible Watershed Management of the costs and benefits of retaining stormwater on this acreage, as proven by design of the High School grounds, so they cannot claim ignorance of the less expensive federally recommended planning and design that would accomplish this. Nor can they excuse either their failure to put waters of the District to fullest beneficial use or their deliberate pollution of Waters of the US in violation of federal regulations.
#4 Feb 7, 2013
Heads Up, Temecula folks, a "Storm Of The Century is arriving tonite! And the lack of commonsense land planning by your public officials has exposed several thousand of you to significant flood hazard.
Smarter officials have adopted planning/design that makes new tracts retain their stormwater to prevent this, but Temecula's officials meekly accept absurd rules of the County's Chief Engineer, wholly inappropriate drainage-based planning that enriches land developers by dumping stormwater downstream instead of storing it in your huge natural underground reservoir.
So runoff from each roof and yard flows to streets that carry it to concrete ditches unable to handle major storm waters. 20 years ago federal agencies and UC-Davis experts worked with the CRWM to formulate a watershed management plan that would eliminate this hazard and the huge cost of importing water. But the new residents were too busy to demand that it be adotped. So now you can only hope the waters won't get too high and your officials won't use this as an excuse to extort another $112 million from you.
#5 Mar 22, 2013
Looks like the Valley made it through another winter without significant flooding, no thanks to County officials who killed off the comprehensive watershed management planning the Resource Conservation District advocated before its Directors became overly "sensitive to needs of the business sector".
Why was this planning effort significant? Because it would have;
a) Eliminated justification for the $112 million-plus Murrieta Creek flood control scam that woud enrich favored landowers at public expense.
b) Avoided the need to retrofit stormwater treatment devices at huge cost.
c) Provided more than enough groundwater replenishment to meet all needs without the extortion cost of importing slimy river water that is unfit to to drink or bathe and swim in.
d) Turned all creekbeds into linear parks as part of an area-wide secondary transit system of pedestrian travelways.
And all these benefits would have been paid for by federal programs..
They are still available at much less cost than the projects being planned by badly informed and/or self-serving polticians, but it will take a few good men and women to inform voters fully and fairly to get the political change needed to break the cycle of deliberate mismanagement.
#6 Apr 17, 2013
The $150 billion "Flood Future" program being pushed through its public discussion requirement tomorrow by state and federal officials who aim to preserve their jobs by pleasing the private sector that will collect these dollars.
April 18 9 a.m.– 11 am Riverside County Flood Control & Water Conservation District, Conf Rm 11995 Market St Riverside
will cost an average houshold $4,200 and guarantee a maximum loss of the plentiful rainwater falling on this region.(More than 6 times as much as the public uses.)
Registering your comment will be a major step toward preventing these public servants from achieving their goal of perpetuating the bloated bureaucracies they work for.
Discussing the program on this forum will prevent politicians from claiming they didn't know about it when the bill comes due.
#7 Sep 13, 2013
An old friend from Temecula heard I was back in state and asked me too look into the matter of landslide flooding along the Santa Margarita River Gorge. Experts serving the Temecula City Council or County Flood Control should have eliminated this problem long ago, federal officials offered to do it for free. But when we drove through town the outdated planning/design showed that local officials have ignored commonsense planning and design to please the land developers who own local news services and a majority of politicians. So I'll summarize that situation to see if anyone who reads this forum cares enough about their neighbors to find out whether this is a genuine concern.
--- A big rainstorm could produce a billion gallons of runoff an hour, even more than the '93 flood, because outdated planing and design has been approved for everything built since then. This flow rate would inundate more than 100 homes within two hours if a landslide in the Gorge blocked it 110 feet high a mile downstreamfrom the freeway. If this happens at night the flooded streets would prevent evacuation before anyone was aware of it.
That landslide is a distinct possibility during a major rainfall because soft soils above the narrowest part of the gorge are kept saturated by grove irrigation, so heavy rain would supersaturate them, lubricating the rock surface beneath so that fifty steep acres could slip off into the Gorge suddenly. A quake like the one last week during a rainstorm could make this landslide practically certain.
So what are the odds this will happen? The Mayor cam provide an instant answer because he instructed Staff to look into it. right? After all, the Resource Conservation District and Safety Commission recommended preventive action twenty years ago.
The really bad news: Even if the landslide Is not high enough to flood Temecula it could trap a billion gallons before this poured over the blockage, creaing a massive mudflow that would wipe out a lot of Camp Pendleton marines unless their commmander is smarter than Temecula's Mayor.
#8 May 12, 2014
In the past year since I started posting facts and figures about
government management of our land-water-energy on this forum
I've seen only half a dozen sensible replies.
Does this mean that the kind of people who read public opinion
forums think they are too busy to add their ideas-data-opinions?
Does it tell us that almost all are not concerned enough about their
family's quality of life and their own health-safety-welfare to comment?
Or does it tell us that persons who scanned this forum were deficient
in personal courage, would not risk reading words of ridicule from the
several cunning wordsmiths who post foolishness to keep sensible
people from posting?
Theft of our wealth through local government by criminals in the
business sector will not be corrected until enough voters recognize
that they are losing over $6,000 per household yearly on average
because they have not learned enough about candidates to make
smart choices. Public discussion could bring out the true costs
and beefits of choosing smart, honest politicians for a change.
And that is why well-paid professional liars work hard to keep
sensible people form posting on public forums.
Our servitude to an invisible mafia is correctable by voters wise
enough to elect the best among us for a change. We need to do
our homework, not let ads and prominent names dictate how we
vote. When we learn our actual management optoins for land-water-
energy, and their true costs/benefits, we will vote properly.
I've posted details of commonsense planning on the UT forum for
those who care enough to do their homework.
jamesmarple66@yahoo dpt com
#9 Aug 27, 2014
The agency managers who tried to push a "flood control"plan through in the early '90s were defeated when CRWM showed federal officials that detaining stormwater wherever it fell in the watershed would achieve total, reliable flood control at no cost to residents while providing a reliable supply, in great surplus, of pure cheap wellwater.
Chief Engineer Edwards tried to discredit my presentations of fact taken from federal and state data files but the Army Corps of Engineers laughed at his letters accusing me of "harassing" him.
The EPA-USDA-USDI agreed that $84 million federal dollars should not be wasted on structures that would dispose of stormwater instead of the 'free' ones that would guide it into groundwater storage in compliance with explicit instructions of the CA Water Code.
So they denied it federal funding.
But before he was given "early retirement" (to avoid disclosure of his corruption and that of
several Supervisors) he killed off the Santa Margarita River Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan, so his obsolete policies are still increasing the pollution and water waste with each new home that is built.
Are Temecula-Murrieta folks collectively smart enough to put together a group that will formulate an Integrated Watershed Management Plan like the one CRWM experts complled in close cooperation with state-federal experts?
If not, they will continue to suffer major health damage from drinking-bathing-swimming in badly contaminated river water.
They and their children will become victims of the autism-asthma-cancer epidemics this causes.
And they will see their tax-utility bills continue to escalate even though that trend would be reversed by the wise planning that federal experts recommend and fund.
While their prominent citizens who expect windfall profits from pushing through the discredited Murrieta Creek Flood Control Plan will enjoy new wealth.
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