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Posted on: May 18, 2021

Yuba Water Agency provides $2 million loan for Goldfields flood risk reduction work

A large levee with a gravel path on the top.

Yuba Water Agency’s board of directors today approved a $2 million loan to the Three Rivers Levee Improvement Authority to complete the construction of a new levee near the Yuba Goldfields that will bring a 200-year level of urban flood protection to southern Yuba County.


The 2.5-mile-long levee, which will be fully complete in June, runs parallel to Hammonton-Smartsville Road and extends to high ground near Beale Air Force Base. The 200-year level of protection means there is a 1-in-200 chance in any given year that a storm could come along that is bigger than the levee is designed to handle. This level of protection ensures the communities of Linda, Olivehurst, Arboga and Plumas Lake remain eligible for low-cost flood insurance and remain free of building permit restrictions typically imposed in high-risk flood zones.


“This loan provides TRLIA the necessary funding to finish construction of the levee without unforeseen delays,” said Yuba Water General Manager Willie Whittlesey. “The completion of this project will significantly reduce the risk of flooding for people in the southern part of the county and bring some of the highest levels of protection to parts of our community that have experienced devastating floods in the past.”


The majority of the $54 million project is being funded through state bonds as part of the California Department of Water Resources’ Urban Flood Risk Reduction Program. TRLIA expects to repay Yuba Water with funds from the state later this year.


Yuba Water agreed to lend TRLIA the $2 million loan with no interest if the loan is paid back by August 1, 2022.

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