Thursday, January 12, 2006

Suisun City most prepared for storms

From Daily Republic // Lead Editorial Jan. 12, 2006

Say what you want about Suisun City - that its lighthouse idea is a waste of money, that it needs more viable business, that it too often sits in Fairfield's shadow.

But next time the rain pours down and the water starts to rise, we bet a lot of people will wish they lived in Suisun City.

Of all the Solano County cities affected by the recent New Year's Eve flood, Suisun City was most prepared and had its act together when preparing for the worst.

The city staved off much of the flooding with a three-day campaign before the rains to clean out every catch basin and pick up every type of debris crews could find that may block drains. Its Public Works Department also called in eight extra men to stand by all night armed with pumps and generators to handle any problems during the storm, not just afterward.

Sandbags were also handed out before the heavy rains, with police calling residents to make sure they knew they were available and where to get them.

It could be argued their proactive response helped prevent a lot of damage in the city, which has been plagued by flooding in the past. It certainly helped Suisun City respond to problems faster, and allowed them to be more prepared.

Granted, flooding in Suisun City earlier in December that drew some criticism that the city wasn't prepared probably had officials more sensitized to further damage. There are also other geographical reasons that may have contributed to heavier flooding in Vacaville and Fairfield.

But Fairfield and Vacaville could take a lesson from their smaller neighbor about anticipating problems before they happen and learning from the past.

If the next time a flood hits, they are as sensitized and proactive as Suisun City was, they will probably avoid a lot of angry citizens complaining after the storms.

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