Calif. flood plan calls for up to $17B in repairs

By GOSIA WOZNIACKA | December 30, 2011 | 1:30 PM EST

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California has released the first statewide flood-control plan, and it calls for $14 billion to $17 billion in repairs and other investments.

The proposal was issued Friday by the state Department of Water Resources and details the dire status of levees and other infrastructure along the Sacramento and San Joaquin river systems.

Officials say more than half of the state's 1,500 miles of levees don't meet standards.

Experts say the aging levees, if breached, pose a great threat to life, property and the state's drinking water supplies.

The plan doesn't outline specific projects but recommends one new bypass and some needed repairs. The price tag includes the $5 million in flood bonds approved by voters five years ago.