The CCC has been fighting floods since the Corps was created in 1976, with corpsmembers being dispatched to nearly every major flood since then. Many of the CCC’s flood responses have been to the islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. CCC crews work closely with the Department of Water Resources repairing and stabilizing levees and protecting them from wave-wash erosion. Corpsmembers also work throughout the state to aid communities facing threats from major storms or floods.
The work is hard, cold, wet and often windy. At times it can be dangerous for corpsmembers and staff, especially when crews work long and arduous hours. Despite the CCC’s “miserable conditions,“ there are few complaints, as corpsmembers know their work fills a vital need. They may be saving homes and businesses from rising flood waters, protecting and reinforcing levees or filling sandbags at a local fire department for the general public to use.
Corpsmembers receive Flood Fight training that includes techniques for properly filling and placing sandbags, protecting hillsides and more, so crews are ready to respond when floods occur or severe winter storms are on the horizon. Since the CCC was established, crews have filled more than three million sandbags.
Among the flood prevention and flood fighting work the CCC can provide:
- Debris removal
Filling and stockpiling sandbags
Sandbagging to protect buildings and structures
Limited levee patrol
CCC crews also work a season ahead of winter storms, clearing flood channels and storm drains in the summer and fall.
During the winter or rainy season, the CCC can be dispatched for flood fight response where needed throughout the state within hours. Statewide and local agreements in place with the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA), Department of Water Resources (DWR) and city or county governments make deployment quicker and more effective.
Local governments can work within the state mutual aid agreement or contact the CCC directly for a more direct response to local flood emergencies. For more information, see the CCC center map for the location closest to you.