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Napa Earthquake Raises Concerns About Sacramento’s Levees

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NAPA (CBS13) — The Napa earthquake has prompted concerns in the Sacramento area about the stability of the region’s levees in the instance of a larger temblor.

Residents along Garden Highway that CBS13 spoke to on Monday say they’re concerned about whether or not the levee will hold during an earthquake like the magnitude-6.0 that shook Napa.

“It’s definitely something in the back of your head you think about,” said Nic Leonard, who lives near the levee. “I mean obviously it would be a disaster for everybody in the area.”

UC Davis scientists studied what would happen if a major earthquake hit along the Delta. The model should a quake could wipe out sediment under the levees in a process called liquefaction. That would change the shape of a levee and reduce its ability to hold back water.

Darren Suen with the state FloodSafe program says no immediate threat has occurred, but that the levee is an area of concern.

“Delta levees are a little more prone to failures because they’re on softer soils because there’s always water against them,” he said.

The levees are inspected quarterly, and area dams were inspected following the quake. No damage was found.

If the levees were to give, some residents are already looking for additional protection in the form of earthquake insurance.

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