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Officials: Calif. faces $50B price tag for flood control

Norm Hughes, Public Domain

The flood of January 1997 devastated Northern and Central California with 300 square miles of flooding and forced 48 counties to be declared disaster areas with more than $2 billion of economic loss and eight deaths. A number of levees broke along the San Joaquin River from the high waters. The floodwaters impacted over 23,000 homes and 2,000 businesses. Photo taken January 5, 2007. Norm Hughes / California Department of Water Resources

The flood of January 1997 devastated Northern and Central California with 300 square miles of flooding and forced 48 counties to be declared disaster areas with more than $2 billion of economic loss and eight deaths. A number of levees broke along the San Joaquin River from the high waters. The floodwaters impacted over 23,000 homes and 2,000 businesses. Photo taken January 5, 2007. Norm Hughes / California Department of Water Resources less

California faces an estimated $50 billion price tag for roads, dams and other infrastructure threatened by floods such as the one that severely damaged Oroville Dam.

Nearly 200,000 people were evacuated three weeks ago amid fears of a catastrophic flood.

That's according to California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird, who says proposals by Gov. Jerry Brown for $387 million for flood control and emergency response were "an important start" but fall far short of the amount needed to address flood projects statewide.

Testifying at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Laird said California is experiencing what is likely its wettest year ever, with severe winter storms bringing torrential rain and significant snow after five years of drought.

Damage to California's highways is estimated at nearly $600 million.

© 2017 Associated Press


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