Keeping Tracy dry

U.S. CONGRESSMAN COLLIN PETERSON (right, facing camera) speaks with Tracy Mayor Pam Cooreman, City Administrator Kris Ambuehl and Dennis Fultz last week. The main topic of conversation was flood mitigation. Public Works Director Shane Daniels also joined the conversation.

Flood control discussion dominates Peterson visit

By Per Peterson

Tracy City Administrator Kris Ambuehl was stopped in his tracks by the flooding in early July, but it was the Labor Day storm — which, for some in town, opened again the flood gates to their basements — that really got him thinking.

Last Wednesday, Ambuehl had the ear of U.S. Congressman Collin Peterson and used the opportunity to share his vision of flood mitigation in hopes of avoiding a repeat of this summer. During Wednesday’s impromptu meeting, Ambuehl displayed to Peterson a forward-thinking approach to fighting flooding.

“I’m sitting here saying to myself, ‘Why are we continuing to pump?’ Ambuehl said in an interview with the Headlight Herald later Wednesday. “Yes, I know that we had saturated ground from July 3, but still … We’ve had a lot of rainfall this summer, but when I sit here and have people from the community telling me that their basement keeps flooding … “

Ambuehl’s tone contained a hint of frustration, which is of little surprise. He has spoken with Public Works Director Shane Daniels about the situation, but the fact remains that the city had never experienced the kind of flooding as it did in July and on Labor Day.

“We shouldn’t have to use temporary solutions to these problems,” he said. “We need a watershed program, so to speak, to determine where’s (the water) coming from and we need to figure out how do we get it around Tracy without going through people’s basements.”

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.