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Rep. McNerney Introduces Legislation to Improve Local Emergency Flood Response

Aug 19, 2020
Press Release

Stockton, CA – This week, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) introduced the Emergency Flood Response Act to empower local authorities in responding to flood disasters and preventing levee failures. Current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regulations put constraints on local agencies by limiting the emergency assistance and work that is eligible for disaster assistance and reimbursement. This legislation would direct FEMA to establish an emergency flood activity pilot program to assist efforts in response to levee failure or potential levee failure, as well as other flood protection purposes.

“Climate change continues to intensify the severity of weather-related events, particularly in areas like our region where we are at the crosshairs of both fire and flood related disasters,” said Congressman McNerney. “Preparation is critical. In flood-prone regions, and in any emergency situation, local authorities need to be able to react quickly. The Emergency Flood Response Act would ensure that local agencies most familiar with their flood region have the tools they need to prepare, plan, and respond effectively and quickly to limit potential damage and harm that can be caused by flooding and damaged levees.”

The Emergency Flood Response Act intends to help local entities establish and maintain a flood emergency fund through a FEMA competitive grants pilot program. The funds would be used for emergency flood activities and would also ensure a unified command system for response in flood disaster scenarios. Specifically, these funds would be applied to emergency flood activities that include: pre-planning and emergency action on levee failure prevention; closing levee breaks; making relief cuts and dewatering flooded areas; and limiting the extent, depth, and duration of flood waters in the event of a levee failure.

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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.