Oakland, Calif. – A new grant to build a storm drain diversion facility will significantly reduce the risk of flooding for 56 homes in Casitas Springs. The $7 million hazard mitigation infrastructure project will safely route floodwaters, sediment and debris from the Fresno Canyon watershed to the Ventura River.
Historically, homes in Casitas Springs near the confluence of the Fresno Canyon and the Ventura River flood repeatedly. Floodwaters from the steep canyon tributaries would leave large deposits of debris that ultimately clogged the community’s undersized storm drainage systems. Floodwaters would also force the closure of the main transportation artery between Ventura to Ojai because debris would block the culvert under Highway 33 and force high velocity floodwaters over the highway.
The project involves building two structures that will convey floodwaters and debris flows. The first is a debris basin in Fresno Canyon upstream of Highway 33 that will hold more debris and floodwaters. The second is a new concrete storm drain channel that will safely direct excess floodwaters through a new 12-foot diameter concrete pipe under the highway to the Ventura River. The project is expected to be completed within 36 months after construction starts.
The combined grant includes $5 million from FEMA and $2 million from non-federal sources.
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program helps states, territories, federally-recognized tribes, local communities and certain private non-profit organizations become more resilient to potential infrastructure damage and reduce future disaster costs.
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