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HA LEVEE WORK.JPGThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $115 million for Sacramento region flood control projects, $17 million more than President Barack Obama requested in his 2013 budget.

Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, said in a statement Tuesday that the increased funding "speaks to the recognition of our urgent need to bolster our flood defenses."

"This funding is critical for Sacramento's flood protection priorities and will help our region achieve 200-year flood protection, protecting lives, property and infrastructure," she said.

The corps allocations include more than $100 million alone for the Folsom Dam to support ongoing efforts to raise the dam and construct an auxiliary spillway.

It also includes more than $13 million for design work for levee improvements in Natomas and Sacramento, as well as improvements for flood protection in South Sacramento.

In a related development Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Water Development Subcommittee approved funding legislation for fiscal year 2014 totaling $34.8 billion for the Department of Energy, the Corps of Engineers and the Interior Department's Bureau of Reclamation.

The bill would provide the corps with $5.3 billion, $300 million above fiscal year 2013.

"This bill makes responsible investments in critical water infrastructure, energy and national security programs," said the panel's chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a statement. "It allows the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation to continue important flood control and navigation projects, which are important for public safety and commerce."

In spite of the increased funding, the corps is still affected by sequestration, or the mandatory, across-the-board spending cuts triggered by Congress' inability to reach a broader agreement on taxes and spending.

The corps' final 2013 allocation of $4.7 billion is $254 million under the original request. It's unclear how much more Sacramento's flood control projects might have received if not for sequestration, but a corps spokesman said the projects are among the agency's top priorities.

In another sequestration impact that the agency says will not affect the flood-control projects, some employees in the corps' Sacramento District will be furloughed one day a week for 11 weeks starting on July 8.

PHOTO: Sean O'Connor, with the American River Flood Control District, works on the levee's H Street project on Thursday, June 24, 2004.The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua


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