Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s declaration of a levee emergency in the Central
Valley seems to have made flood protection one of the leading regional concerns,
according to a new survey by Sacramento State researchers.
In the week following the declaration, the percentage of the region’s
residents who said flood control is a big issue jumped from 38 percent to 54
percent. Residents’ approval of the governor’s overall flood control
efforts jumped from 37 percent to 53 percent, while those who said they supported
his $3 billion flood control bond idea went from 48 percent to 53 percent.
The findings are from the “2006 Sacramento State Annual Survey of the
Region,” conducted Feb. 4 to March 5 by Sociology professor Amy Liu and
more than 30 students. It covers El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties.
The survey included 1,122 randomly selected adults in the Capital Region who
were interviewed in English and Spanish. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.
The governor declared a state of emergency for levees on Feb. 24, and the heightened
concern about flood protection came after that declaration.
Approval of the governor’s handling of flood protection also jumped after
the declaration, primarily among those who had previously expressed no opinion.
Those who said they “don’t know” how he was handling the issue
dropped from 27 percent to 15 percent, while his approval went from 37 percent
to 53 percent.
The researchers also found that Sacramento Region residents aren’t very
well prepared for a flood or large disaster, with half having no evacuation
plan for themselves and their families.
Even among those who know they are in a flood plain, 47 percent have no evacuation
plan, and 34 percent carry no flood insurance.
The full report from the survey is available from the news release at www.csus.edu/news.
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