Lawmakers examine U.S. Army Corps of Engineers response to Hurricane Ida and future storm preparations


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers want to better prepare for future storms, after Hurricane Ida left death and destruction in its wake.

“Tragically, an estimated 82 people lost their lives and billions of dollars in damages,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said.

Capito says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working hard to rebuild, but she wants to see more planning for the future.

“It’s important that local, state and federal partners continue to work together to identify and address existing gaps and flood risk management and coastal storm damage reduction,” Capito said.

Congress recently provided more than $5 billion in funding to the Army Corps to support recovery and preventative efforts.

“Given the scale of climate change, a broader more regional approach to planning for future events is required,” Maj. Gen. William “Butch” Graham said.

Despite the extra funding, some lawmakers say the Flood and Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Program unfairly favors some areas more than others.

“Inexplicably favors inland flooding over coastal flooding, is a matter of real concern to those of us who represent coastal states,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said.

Whitehouse says his state isn’t being served well by the federal programs.

“It is annoying as hell to fund FEMA and also have the state of Rhode Island have to pay for its own mapping because FEMA mapping isn’t accurate,” Whitehouse said.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) says federal agencies need to plan for all communities.

“We have to have a game plan for our communities because it is occurring,” Cardin said.

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