DWR Begins Demobilizing at Delta Levee Break Site

June 16, 2004

The California Department of Water Resources has begun demobilizing an emergency work force assembled to wage a crucial flood fight following the Upper Jones Tract levee break in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta June 3, 2004.

"Work has gone so well that we can now start releasing some of the personnel and equipment brought in to stabilize the Upper and Lower Jones Tract levee system," said Bill Burkhard, DWR Incident Commander.

Twelve of the 15 California Conservation Corps crews mustered to perform erosion control duties were discharged over the weekend. Three CCC crews remain onsite to fill sandbags while six California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection inmate crews continue to place plastic sheeting and sandbags on the 13 miles of interior Jones Tract levees not protected by rock armoring. They expect to complete their task this week.

DWR employees no longer essential to the mission are being returned to their normal work positions.

Raising and strengthening of Trapper Slough Levee is finished except for rock placement to fill in possible trouble spots. The levee buildup was a race against time to save State Highway 4 and Roberts Island from high tides that would have overtopped the embankment. Under contracts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Caltrans, Ford Construction Company of Stockton raised the levee to a six foot elevation using 56,000 yards of fill dirt and armored the levee sides with 40,000 tons of rock.

Rock placement along the interior of Lower Jones Road has been completed and the roadway reopened to farmers who have equipment parked on the levee and to residents of Bacon and Mandeville Islands, most of whom were evacuated while the road was closed for repairs. Lower Jones Road remains closed to sightseers, fishermen, and others.

Repairing of the Middle River levee breach by the Dutra Group of San Rafael continues ahead of schedule. About 60,000 tons of rock have been placed in the gap. An estimated 180,000 tons of material will be needed to complete the job, which should be finished around the first week of July, if progress continues at its present rate.

Plans are being developed and coordinated with other interested parties for pumping floodwater off the 12,153 acre island beginning in early July. During pumpout, erosion control measures will be continued. After pumpout, rock placed on the interior of Jones Tract levees will be removed and the levees repaired and restored.

The Department of Water Resources operates and maintains the State Water Project, provides dam safety and flood control and inspection services, assists local water districts in water management and water conservation planning, and plans for future statewide water needs.

Source: The California Department of Water Resources