Hamilton City Flood Damage Reduction & Ecosystem Restoration Project

Hamilton City is along the west bank of the Sacramento River in Glenn County, California, about 85 miles north of the City of Sacramento. The community has long been at risk of flooding from the Sacramento River. Portions of Hamilton City and the surrounding area flooded in 1974. Extensive flood fighting has been necessary in 1983, 1986, 1995, 1997, and 1998 to avoid failure of the private 'J' levee. Residents of the town were evacuated six times in the past 20 years: 1983, 1986, twice in 1995, 1997, and 1998. The community of Hamilton City relies on the existing 'J' levee to contain flows in the Sacramento River. The 'J' levee does not meet Corps or any other levee construction standards and could fail at river levels well below the top of the levee.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and The Reclamation Board of the State of California completed a feasibility study in 2004 to develop plans to reduce flood damages and restore the ecosystem along the Sacramento River near Hamilton City. The Hamilton City Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Project will provide enhanced flood protection for Hamilton City through:

  • Construction of a setback levee to provide a more reliable form of flood protection to the community and agricultural areas
  • Degradation of the existing 'J' levee to allow for reconnection of the river to the flood plain, and
  • Restoration of about ~1,500 acres of native habitat between the new setback levee and the Sacramento River.
Project Overview map
News & Current Events
News Article - Hamilton City J levee funding in president's budget (February 16, 2016)
The Hamilton City J levee project received a $8.5 million boost through President Barack Obama's 2017 budget.
News Article - Hamilton City J levee documents available (January 19, 2016)
The USFWS proposes to issue a right of way easement to Reclamation District 2140 for the construction and maintenance of a portion of the USACE levee and restoration project at the Capay Unit of the wildlife refuge. A draft environmental assessment and compatibility determination for a right of way easement on the Sacramento River National Wildlife Refuge has been made available to the public.
News Article - J Levee gets another boost of flood funding, protection for Hamilton City on the way (May 27, 2015)
The most recent news was that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $15 million for this fiscal year. That's the same amount included in President Barack Obama's budget, and the same amount already approved by the House of Representatives. The full Senate still needs to vote to approve the $15 million.
News Article - Ground should move this summer for Sacramento River flood project in Hamilton City (May 5, 2015)
Friday, the federal House of Representatives approved another $15 million toward the project, which would be awarded in 2016. The Senate still needs to vote to approve that level of funding, and is scheduled to decide in late summer.
News Article - Temporary repair of J Levee underway (Jan 14, 2015)
Glenn County Board of Supervisors authorize $15,000 to repair a stretch of about 1,000 feet of levee.
News Article - Federal Army big-wig sees J Levee in person, project ready for repair (Jun 8, 2014)
Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy met with Glenn County dignitaries and people from the community
News Article - USACE Releases Work Plans for Fiscal Year 2014 Civil Works Appropriations (March 4, 2014)
Hamilton City project funded in the Construction account
News Article - Funding for J Levee replacement may be granted (Dec 23, 2013)
..following last week's passage of the Bi-partisan Budget Act of 2013
News Article - Project project clears Senate Appropriations Committee (July 3, 2013)
The project made it through the Senate Appropriations Committee the first week of July, 2013.
News Article - Hamilton City flood control project funding clears Senate Appropriations Subcommittee (April 24, 2012)
On Tuesday (4/24/2012), the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development recommended funding for the J Levee, a major hurdle in the plans to protect homes, farm land and state infrastructure. Read this article from RD2140 for details.
News Article - Corps' first multi-benefit project moves forward at Hamilton City (April 25, 2011)
An article published on the U.S. Army website
Presentation - Status Report on the Hamilton City Flood Damage Reduction & Ecosystem Restoration Project (April 25, 2011)
A powerpoint presentation given by project manager, Tom Karvonen, to the SRCAF Board on April 21, 2011.
Documents & Resources
Project Fact Sheet with map
A 2012 fact sheet with a project location/map, description, cost estimate, information on federal authorization, and contact information.
Project Overview Presentation
A 2004 presentation with background information, on the Hamilton City Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration study. Includes maps, pictures, and information on partners involved with the project.
Final Feasibility Report and EIR/EIS (2004)
This report: (1) assesses the risk of flooding to Hamilton City from the Sacramento River and the degradation of the river's ecosystem; (2) describes a range of alternatives to increase flood protection to Hamilton City and to restore the ecosystem; and (3) identifies a recommended plan for implementation. This report constitutes both a Feasibility Report that describes the planning process followed to identify the recommended plan and an EIS/EIR. This final Feasibility Report/EIS/EIR submitted to higher Corps authority for review and approval, then transmitted to Congress for potential project authorization and funding of the Federal share of the project.
Appendices to the Final Feasibility Report and EIR/EIS (2004)
Appendixes to the 2004 EIR/EIS for the Hamilton City Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration project. This volume contains plan formation, environmental and regulatory agreement documents, engineering plans, real estate plan, economic analysis, and letters of intent and comments and responses to the EIR/EIS.
Hydraulic Modeling Report (2008)
This hydraulic modeling report was performed for the Hamilton City Flood Damage Reduction Project, and focues on a reach of the Sacramento River from River Mile (RM) 192 to RM 202. The purpose of this study was to readdress the appropriate top of levee profile for the proposed setback levee along the Sacramento River in the vicinity of Hamilton City. This effort included updating the previously developed RMA2 hydraulic model, working with the USACE and the local stakeholders to determine the level of protection, developing hydraulic model runs of all alternative simulations, and determine benefits and cost of the project alternatives. The hydraulic model was further refined and recalibrated as part of the current project design phase.
Summary of Line Item - Proposed Federal Budget, Fiscal Year 2012
Extracted pages from the Proposed Federal Budget containing a description of the funding request for phase I of the Hamilton City Flood Damage Reduction Project
Appropriation Description - Proposed Federal Budget, Fiscal Year 2012
Extracted pages from the U.S. Corps of Engineers budget justification sheets, providing project cost estimates, a project justification statement, and a map of work areas completed or proposed for FY 2012 funding or proposed for future funding.

For more information about the operations and maintenance assessment, and updates about the new Hamilton City Levee, visit the Reclamation District 2140 website (www.rd2140.org)