Levees along the west bank of the Feather River do not provide 100-year flood protection (protection against a flood that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year), because they suffer from potential under-seepage and through-seepage. Similar problems caused major levee failures in Yuba City in 1955, and Yuba County in 1986 and 1997.
Levees can be made stronger by building deeper cutoff walls (also known as slurry walls), stability berms and seepage berms. These levee improvements block or slow the flow of water through and underneath the levees. Not all 44 miles of levees will need each of these improvements. More than 80 percent of the needed levee repairs will involve the construction of slurry walls, some as deep as 110 feet. In a few select areas, seepage berms constructed on the land side of the levee were determined to be the best fix.
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