Sacramento’s Flood Risk Reduction Efforts
(1989 to the Present and Beyond)

Water Seminar Series Flyer

When: Friday, November 6, 2015, 12 pm
Where: Sacramento State, 6000 J Street | Library, Room 11 (Downstairs)
Topic: Sacramento’s Flood Risk Reduction Efforts (1989 to the Present
and Beyond)

Speaker: Pete Ghelfi, Director of Engineering Sacramento Area Flood
Control Agency


This seminar series is open to the public. Food will be provided for the first
20–25 people to arrive.

Topic Overview

In February of 1986, Sacramento received a wake-up call as to its risk of flooding from the Sacramento and American Rivers. As a result of the storm event that year, Sacramento decided to address its flood risk by strengthening its flood defenses. In 1989, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mapped Sacramento into the floodplain, creating development restrictions and mandating flood insurance. During the same year, the CA Legislature created the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) to serve as a local sponsor to address Sacramento’s risk of flooding from large watersheds. SAFCA partners with the State of California’s Department of Water Resources and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board, along with the US Army Corps of Engineers, to improve the flood protection system around Sacramento.

SAFCA’s presentation will cover how far we have come in reducing flood risk in the Sacramento area since 1989 (about $1.5 billion invested to date), what we are doing today to reduce risk, and what might the future hold for Sacramento. Examples of risk reduction will be given, including recent improvements to the Guy West Bridge on the American River, erosion protection along the American River, improvements to Folsom Dam, and how Sacramento State sits in the middle of it all.

About the Speaker
Pete GhelfiPete Ghelfi has been the Director of Engineering for Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) since 2000. He has been involved in numerous flood control projects that have led to increased flood protection for the Sacramento area. The majority of Mr. Ghelfi’s time is spent representing SAFCA in its partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the State of California’s Department of Water Resources/California Central Valley Flood Protection Board to implement over $2.5 billion in needed flood control improvements in the Sacramento area. Projects include slurry wall construction along the Sacramento and American Rivers; various levee repair projects; underseepage remediation; erosion protection; improvements to Folsom Dam; levee certification efforts along the American River, Sacramento River, and South Sacramento Streams; and the remapping of over 100,000 parcels out of the regulatory floodplain.

Prior to working for SAFCA, Mr. Ghelfi worked for the Sacramento County Department of Water Resources for approximately 12 years where he was involved in numerous programs that included drainage development review, master planning, stormwater quality, the FEMA program, the Community Rating System program, and initiating a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program involving the purchase of homes along Dry Creek and the elevation of houses above the floodplain throughout the county.

Mr. Ghelfi earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from California State University, Sacramento and is a registered civil engineer and a certified floodplain manager. He is a member of the Association of State Floodplain Managers and the Floodplain Management Association.

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