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Huntington Beach Receives Emergency Funds for Broken Levee

When the Levee Breaks in Huntington Beach - Pictured above is the location where the East Garden Grove- Wintersburg flood channel in Huntington Beach meets the wetlands, draining into the sea.

Who thinks about levees breaking in Huntington Beach? Those who live by flood channels do.  When the Talbert Channel in Huntington Beach was rebuilt to newer standards several years ago, many residents were dumbfounded that they were suddenly placed into a flood channel zone, requiring purchase of flood insurance to the tune of around $800 - $1000 annually.

Some of those folks have recently discovered that major repairs are required on a deteriorating flood control channel next to their homes, and a proposed housing development built in what many consider to be a flood plain. The developer wants to build up to 170 homes on land bordering a part of the Garden Grove-Wintersburg Channel.

In emergency action by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, home builder J.F. Shea Construction was awarded an $8 million contract to shore up the levee designed to protect their proposed, new Shea Homes. While the California Coastal Commission has yet to grant an emergency permit for the repairs, they have given temporary approval for the work as they negotiate with the county on several conditions for final approval.

Shea Homes and its Parkside Estates development is up for reviews by the Coastal Commission soon. But before their project can be granted, a portion of the East Garden Grove-Wintersburg Channel was deemed so unsafe that it could break in the next major storm, flooding hundreds of houses in the surrounding area. Shea builders claimed that their project would could help keep the area from flooding and bring about 7,000 nearby homes and businesses out of federal flood zones.