Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Wins Adoption the By House of Representatives of Amendments to Aid Homeless Veterans, Promote Environmental Justice and Ensure Army Corps of Engineers has Resources Needed

Style Magazine Newswire | 6/8/2018, 3:30 p.m.
Jackson Lee: “The energy and water appropriations legislation passed today by the House includes a number of initiatives designed to ...
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior Member of the House Committees on Homeland Security and the Judiciary, and the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, today released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 5895, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch and Military Construction-Veterans Administration Appropriation Act for Fiscal Year 2019:

“I am pleased that the appropriations bill passed today by the House of Representatives this morning includes six Jackson Lee Amendments that will improve the lives of Houstonians and help the community anticipate and react to the next major weather event such as the one that ravaged Houston and its surrounding areas last year. Hurricane Harvey was a calamity unlike any other, and its impact is still reverberating throughout the Houston area. Estimates indicate that 52 inches of rain fell causing unimaginable damage. Hurricane Harvey is the largest housing disaster to strike the U.S. in our nation’s history. During Hurricane Harvey over 300,000 structures flooded in southeastern Texas, where extreme rainfall hit many areas that are densely-populated. At its peak on September 1, 2017, one-third of Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city, was underwater with 34,575 evacuees in shelters across Texas. The storm and resulting flooding damaged 203,000 homes, of which 12,700 were destroyed. Port Arthur residents were living in tents after 80% of the city’s housing was flooded by Hurricane Harvey rains, which led to acute housing needs.

“Houston was badly damaged by Hurricane Harvey, and was assisted in its recovery by the heroic work performed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. One of the Jackson Lee Amendments adopted today addresses the need for robust funding for the Army Corps of Engineers, by redirecting $100 million for increased funding for critical construction projects, like those current and future projects proposed for the Houston/Harris County metropolitan area. As the federal agency that collects and studies basic information pertaining to river and harbor, flood and storm damage reduction, shore protection, aquatic ecosystem restoration, and conducts detailed studies, plans, and specifications for river and harbor, and flood and storm damage reduction, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer plays a critical role in the building, maintaining, and expanding the most critical of the nation’s infrastructure.

“The Army Corps of Engineers has been working with the Harris County Flood Control District since 1937 to reduce the risk of flooding within Harris County. Current projects include 6 federal flood risk management projects: (1) Sims Bayou; (2) Greens Bayou; (3) Brays Bayou; (4) White Oak Bayou; (5) Hunting Bayou, and (6) Clear Creek. In addition to these ongoing projects, the Army Corps of Engineers operates and maintains the Addicks and Barker (A&B) Detention Dams in northwest Harris County. The study prescribed for in the Jackson Lee Amendment is needed, given the frequency and severity of historic-level flood events in recent years in and around the Houston metropolitan area. It is clear that much more needs to be done to minimize the vulnerability of the nation’s fourth largest metropolitan area and the economic engine from the flood damage. Minimizing the risk of flood damage to the Houston and Harris County metropolitan area is a matter of national significance because the region is one of the nation’s major technology, energy, finance, export and medical centers: (1) Port of Houston is the largest bulk port in the world; (2) Texas Medical Center is a world renowned teaching, research and treatment center; (3) a financial community that is second only to New York City as home to the most Fortune 500 companies; and (4) the Houston Watershed Assessment study area sits within major Hurricane evacuation arteries for the larger Galveston Gulf Coast region.