ACAMPO, Calif. — In January, Ronnie Suko found himself ankle deep in flood waters that engulfed Acampo.
"We've been through this before, but not this bad," said Suko back on January 16th of this year.
Wednesday, Suko was reflective in a light-hearted way.
"We put our kayaks up and, for awhile, were not going to have to worry about using them again," said Suko.
While Suko's street is dry, many residents in Acampo are still recovering from unprecedented flooding. But now, San Joaquin County has announced plans to pursue $2 million in funding from the federal government for a plan they hope will improve Acampo's chances of avoiding another massive flood.
The county's plan is to move water away from town through a series of newly improved, roadside ditches.
The $2 million would be spent on design, planning, environmental permits and more.
"For a project that would intercept drainage, running in the upper part of the watershed that comes down into these communities, diverted towards the Mokelumne River, diverts some of it into fields for groundwater recharge," said San Joaquin County Public Works Director Fritz Buchman.
In effect, the project would slow water down before it reaches town. A $2.5 million drainage system installed in Acampo just four years ago was not enough to handle the historic series of recent storms.
Suko is hopeful for any fix.
"People prayed for rain. They didn't say in moderation; we got it all at once," said Suko.
Once the planning stage for the project is completed, the county will apply for the $3.5 million estimated to build out the project.
It will take 18 months to two years to complete just the planning stage.
In a separate grant, the county has applied for federal funding for a fixed generator for Acampo's storm drain pump in case power goes out.
The hope is to also have fixed generators in Stockton's Lincoln Village and Colonial Heights neighborhoods, as well as where flooding occurs under a Lower Sacramento Road overpass.
The federal money would also be used to purchase portable back-up generators.