Gary says that on December 21, 2010 the gate valve was closed during that day's storm. There was no flooding of Leucadia 101. Once the gate was opened, the Leucadia 101 corridor flooded. So it looks like the 101 corridor's flooding is determined by a human decision to open or close the gate. According to Gary the original design for the nuisance drain didn't include this gate valve, because it wasn't conceived to drain the area upstream of the gate valve. There was also a human decision to draw all that extra water north, rather than south toward Cottonwood Creek.
So, if Gary is right that the person in charge of the gate valve is in charge of Leucadia' flooding it has huge ramifications. Remember that the redevelopment district was all predicated on Leucadia having a serious flooding problem. Blight. Who has been in charge of the gate valve? It all lands on Phil Cotton.
According to Gary, the city is also pumping water over the bluff at Beacons during storms using a water discharge permit that requires a situation to be declared an emergency by the Fire Chief. It is only legal to pump if there is an emergency. How does that jive if the city is making the 101 flooding happen?
Are we to believe that Gary is off-base and he is full of crazy talk? That is how a lot of citizens have been painted and like with other citizens, it was only later discovered that they were saying the exact same thing the city's own high-paid consultants were telling the city. Did we pay millions for crazy talk reports?
Here is an excerpt from a document which was not widely distributed, which coincides with Gary's conclusions. Gary had a "bingo" moment when he read the city's hydrologist's statement that said:
Although the orifice plates enhance the performance of the existing storm drain system, runoff still ponds in the sump areas during storms, resulting in potential inundation of streets and other properties. The City addressed the extent of flooding on Vulcan Avenue near Union Street with the installation of a sluice gate/orifice plate in the storm drain system. The orifice plate serves to restrict flows from crossing under the NCTD right-of-way during the storm event, and the sluice gate can be opened to expedite drainage of the stored water after the storm when the downstream facility is no longer overtaxed.The city's hydrologists/engineers expect the gate valve to be left closed until after the storm passes.
Photo of the downstream facility being overtaxed. Gary says the city's very directed practice has been to leave the gate open during storms.
Gary leaves us with a number of questions:
Why hasn't the city been following the advice of its own high-paid experts, and thus flooding the 101 corridor?
Who knew about this practice and how far up did the approval go?
What does/did the city have to gain by flooding Leucadia 101?
See Also: Phil Cotton has authority to fix Leucadia's flooding.
I'm sending the city manager an email so he can give his side to all this. Given that we can't find a response to the Coast News editorial and city management's recent history of obfuscation, delay, and ducking questions we might have to wait a while. We'll keep track of how long it takes.