Monday, May 12, 2008

What do Sacramento and New Orleans have in Common

My mom just told me about a story in this weekend's LA Times, on Sacramento's precarious flooding situation.

Flood risk and poorly performing public schools are the main reasons we are looking to purchase in the foothill communities as opposed to areas closer to the city center (unfortunately we can't afford Davis).

Even with gas at record highs, I can't bring myself to knowingly move my family into an area that is at a known risk for serious flooding.....its just not worth it.


Buying Time said...

Okay, let's be honest, if Midtown or East Sac were easily affordable, I might seriously consider it. But since their not, I can act like I am being high minded about it.

Sippn said...

North side of the river, the bluff is somewhere between American River Drive and Fair Oaks Blvd. You'd be hard pressed to find flood zone north east of fair oaks blvd except a few creek areas.

I know it all looks like flat lands from up there in the hills, we talk and vote funny and all.

Gordon Gekko said...

I wouldn't be worried about N Natomas east of I-5. In the '86 floods, it was mostly Yuba City and areas south of Sac that got it.
For the price difference between the foothills and Natomas, I would be tempted to buy a new place under $100 a sqft in Natomas and pay for private school.
I may be the only one, but I've thought living in Natomas would be convenient, 10 minutes to work in downtown, close to Arco for concerts and the Kings, and close to the river.

Buying Time said...

You all are going easy on me today.

I figured at least someone was going to suggest that a little water was no match for a long slow death by mesothelioma.

In all seriousness, there are a lot of great areas in Sacramento. And each has different pros and cons.

Curious said...

I lived on J across from Mercy in the 86 floods and nothing in E.Sac or River Park flooded. It was, however, pretty frightening crossing the American River by Sac State at the time. I guess that's the reason why most E.Sac homes are built high (not so in River Park).

In the 90's floods, I lived outside of the mandatory flood plain coverage area and came a hell of a lot closer to flooding because the (sewage/street drainage?) pumps failed in my area. I'm at least 4-5 feet higher than street level in my current home, nowhere near a creek or a river, and the water crept into my garage before subsiding. All because the county pump stations lost electricity and the battery backup failed too. I was a lot more afraid during the 90's flooding than I was during the 80's floods.

I remember begging the county to get out here before we flooded and their response was that they were giving first priorty to already flooded areas. Such a helpless, helpless feeling.

If you're really feeling the old neighborhoods, my suggestion would be to stay the heck out of River Park and stick to high and old (or 2nd floor or above townhouses) in E.Sac/Midtown. Stay away from T Street Parkway unless you can afford to buy one of the grandees who are up high.

Seriously, this house is currently for sale and could end up under water in soooo many ways. MLS# 80042077.

But I think they've already dropped the price by $200K and it's been for sale less than a month. By the way, purchased just over a year ago for $575K on 3/30/07. Oh my.

And it will flood just as quickly as Natomas does if the levees fail.

E.Sac. is a place I love dearly but because each home is so individual, I don't know how you accurately assess flood dangers.

Some homes are "mini-leveed" (for lack of a better word) about 5-6 feet above street level for the yard, then the actual first story starts several feet above that. Of course, the basements would flood but who cares? ; )

I think the Fab 40's would be an island in a flood (and were deliberately designed that way), the rest of E.Sac. is seriously overpriced based on flood risk.

I say that as a person who LOVES the homes on the T St. Parkway, but I don't think I could ever risk living in one. It's like the 40's were deliberately designed to drain floodwaters east, west, north, and south. Very few homes on the "wrong" side of Folsom Blvd. have that same elevation.

I can't speak to Midtown because I've never lived there or had reason to study it's geography, but I know that downtown/midtown/east sac. are filled with instances like these.

There are a ton of homes built during real flood years that were thoughtfully built...and another ton that were built after the levees were raised and people forgot what the rivers can do.

Curious said...

My apologies for the rant...I had no idea it would come out soooo long.

Paul said...

Although folks talk about the "86 "floods," we all know that none of the Sacramento levies failed in "86. Murphy's Law says that it is a question of "when," not "if." Which levy will fail? When will it fail? How high will the river be when if fails? Only time will tell. But as noted above, lots of Sacramento is above the 100 year and 200 year flood plains, albeit much pricier. Of course, most of you know I would rather expose myself to mesothelioma ...

Buying Time said...

Curious - No need to apologize....very informative. I absolutely love all the charming old neighborhooods around here, T street included (was at the Coloma Community Center on T street no too long ago and immediately went home to see what they were going for =).