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Caltrans project could fix flooding problem on Highway 99 north of Chico

There is a stretch of road in Butte County known for giving drivers a headache. The reason? Flooding.

Posted: Nov 17, 2020 10:21 AM
Updated: Nov 17, 2020 10:28 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - There is a stretch of road in Butte County known for giving drivers a headache. The reason? Flooding.

Under the Keefer Slough bridge on Highway 99 - you will find dry grass, dirt, and pillars. But during times of rain, it can turn messy.

Taken on 2/27/2019

"It's dangerous," said Marilyn Rees, a resident near Garner Lane.

Marilyn Rees lives nearby, she says when it rains her home gets flooded.

"And unfortunately it goes over the highway and it goes through our fire station and then it goes to the town of Nord," Rees said.

A possible solution? Building a causeway along Highway 99, meaning - a pathway for water to flow beneath the road. That was a proposal made by Butte County Public Works Director, Dennis Schmidt, in a county supervisors meeting.

Schmidt says the work is a Caltrans project.

In addition to the causeway being underneath Highway 99, Schmidt says the causeway could be a foot long in measurement.

And neighbors are not the only ones impacted.

"It's a recurring problem," said John Gaddie, a firefighter in Butte County.

Captain John Gaddie with Butte County Cal Fire often works from station 41.

"We've taken measures here at the station to divert the water around the station when the Keefer Slough or Rock Creek get inundated by precipitation," Gaddie said.

But until there is a solution, Rees says when the rain comes she will keep placing sandbags around her home.

"Sandbag planning comes from the 1900s and this is 2020, we are better than that," Rees said.

Schmidt says if you live in the area to consider getting flood insurance.

Caltrans projects that roughly 14,000 drivers are on Highway 99 and Keefer Road intersection every day.

Action News Now has reached out to Caltrans about this project. Representatives with Caltrans told Action News Now so far, nothing is definite, but the agency is looking for a way to fund such a project.

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