Replacing water lines and mains will allow 187 homes destroyed in Redwood Complex Fire to be rebuilt
Sacramento – When the Redwood Complex Fire burned over 36,000 acres and destroyed over 500 structures last October in Mendocino County, that included 187 homes that are in the Redwood Valley County Water District. The District infrastructure faced significant damage due to the fires and it was discovered the main water line would need to be expanded in order to rebuild the homes to meet modern-day fire safety and building code requirements, with enough flow to accommodate fire sprinklers.
This means the main water line, which feeds the 187 homes destroyed by the fire, will need to be expanded to six inches to meet modern day water flow requirements.
For the past six months, Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood have been working with the County of Mendocino, the Redwood Valley County Water District, California’s Office of Emergency Services, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to determine how $7 million in upgrades to the system could be funded.
Through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation program, 75 percent of the project costs – just over $5 million – can be funded, leaving a $2 million gap that the district couldn’t afford, particularly since 15 percent of its ratepayers lost their homes.
This week, Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood are proud to announce $2 million has been allocated by the legislature in the state budget to cover the remaining costs of making upgrades, which will allow the 187 homes to be rebuilt.
“The residents of Redwood Valley have faced devastating loss from the Redwood Complex Fire and we’ve all been working overtime to secure the funds to get this critical project kicked off and built,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “When we heard that 187 homes could not be rebuilt unless we could find $7 million in funding, we immediately went to work with a fantastic team of Assemblymember Wood, the County of Mendocino, the Redwood Valley County Water District and the California Office of Emergency Services to get the job done. We are thrilled that this important project for Redwood Valley will be funded, ensuring our neighbors will be able to rebuild and recover strong.”
The project will include replacing water service laterals with 1-inch piping to meet current California Residential Building Code requirements for fire sprinklers in the homes as well as replacing undersized water mains to accommodate the increased system demand associated with the improvements.
“These funds were desperately needed,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood. “Prior to the fires, the system needed attention and now it is even more urgent that it be addressed so that it does not become a barrier to rebuilding after the fire.”
“Redwood Valley residents lived through a terrifying disaster and are struggling to recover because of the need to modernize the District’s water lines,” said Mendocino County Supervisor Carre Brown. “This funding will allow us to kick off construction of both the water line and the 187 homes and we are truly appreciative of the work by Senator McGuire and Assemblymember Wood.”
“This has been the County’s top priority – getting the 187 homes in Redwood Valley rebuilt,” said Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo. “This project would not be happening if it wasn’t for a teamwork approach led by Senator McGuire, Assemblymember Wood and our Board of Supervisors.”
The legislature’s budget will be sent to the Governor by the end of this week.