New ponding basin in Fresno will reduce insurance costs

FRESNO, Calif.

Water flowing into mill ditch was collected in the Fancher Creek ponding basin. Recent storms put the basin through its first test. Its' ability to store large amounts of water provides improved protection for 650 parcels located in flood prone areas.

Many people living in neighborhoods along Fancher Creek will no longer have to pay flood insurance as required by FEMA.

Homeowner Anthony Ortiz said, "I guess you save a pretty good amount of money, about a grand a year. These times anything you can do to save a little money it's always good."

Alan Hofmann is an engineer for the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District. He said the district just submitted its final report on the Fancher Creek basin to FEMA. Hofmann explained, "We're hopeful within 3 to 4 months we might receive final approval and then the folks will have an option whether they want to continue with the flood insurance program or not."

Flood insurance would then no longer be mandatory and would also be cheaper. That will also impact future housing developments planned for the area. Existing homeowner Anthony Ortiz now faces a tough decision. He said, "I'm kind of already used to paying it. I'm gonna think real strongly about what are my best options because I do live behind a creek."

The 12 million dollar project took ten years to complete. A major Caltrans project came along at a perfect time for the district. Hofmann said, "We finally completed with the 180 project that needed dirt and we had a lot of dirt to get rid of and so they came to us and excavated the south cell and some of the north cell."

Alan Hofmann called the Fancher Creek ponding basin the last major project for the district.

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