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California Has Own Experience With Levee Breaks

Stockton, CA — California knows catastrophic levee breaks like the ones that have swamped New Orleans under as much as 20 feet of water.

Breaches have turned Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta islands into massive lakes, and floodwaters destroyed hundreds of homes during winter storms since 1986.

California engineers say it could be months before levees split by Hurricane Katrina are fully repaired and flood waters are pumped out.

The 300-foot wide Jones Tract break in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta last year swamped more than 12,000 acres of crops on a manmade island 10 miles west of Stockton.

That break caused an estimated $93 million in damages.