Statement: California Senate Leader on Statewide Floods

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SACRAMENTO – California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) release the following statement on the flooding currently taking place across the state of California.

“The aftermath of the storms of the past two months are being seen today throughout the state. 

“Our dams are close to capacity.  Oroville’s spillway is still in disrepair.  Serious flooding is occurring, with emergency alerts announced from the San Joaquin Valley to San Jose to Santa Barbara.  We are closely monitoring this situation daily.   I thank Governor Brown and our first responders for their hard work and regular updates.

“After the longest drought in modern history, we now have had more rain and snow in two months than in any year in the past decade.  Scientists call this a “new normal.”  It’s a result of climate change and the changing hydrograph of the state’s water and flood cycles.

“There is a larger issue we can no longer ignore.

“Climate change is here and it is real.   It is impacting our communities.  It is costing our state billions in damage and severely affecting peoples’ lives. California needs to build greater resiliency into its water and flood systems. 

“For this reason, I introduced SB 5 on the first day of session last December.  It’s also why I have asked Chairman Hertzberg of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and Chair Jackson of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management to hold oversight hearings on flood protection next week.  

“In the days to come, I will amend SB 5 to directly address the infrastructure needs now coming into clear focus.”