Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Demands Replacement of the Addicks and Barker Dams

Style Magazine Newswire | 9/19/2017, 11:16 a.m.
Jackson Lee: “With scientists predicting that future hurricanes will be more frequent and more destructive, it is time to replace ...
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, released the following statement calling for the replacement of the Addicks and Barker Dams:

“As we recover and rebuild from the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, it is crucial that we also learn from this catastrophic storm and prepare for the next one. A critical takeaway is that our infrastructure is ill-prepared for the ferocity of thousand year weather events and record-breaking rainfall.

“During Hurricane Harvey, the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs exceeded their water containment capacity, thus compromising the structural integrity of the Addicks and Barker Dams. As a result, the Army Corps of Engineers was forced into the untenable position of having to decide which homes should suffer more flood damage than others. Consequently, thousands of homes, including many in my district, were either destroyed or severely damaged. The resulting flooding may have contributed to the deaths of 82 people.

To ensure that Harris County is positioned to withstand future hurricanes and historic floods, I introduced and worked to secure passage of amendments to the ‘Energy and Water Appropriations Act,’ that provide $3 million to fund the Army Corps of Engineers’ Houston Regional Watershed Assessment Flood Risk Management Feasibility study and $100 million in funding for construction of flood control infrastructure. The purpose of the study is to find ways to reduce the threat of severe flooding. I believe one way to accomplish this is to replace the Addicks and Barker Dams.

“The Army Corps of Engineers should not be forced to make decisions that could result in either a loss of life or property because of inadequate infrastructure. Given the cataclysmic effects from Hurricane Harvey, it is imperative that we replace the dam now before the next powerful storm comes our way.”