*JOINT HEARING with the Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery* "Flood Preparedness a

The purpose of this hearing was to evaluate preparedness and mitigation efforts among flood-prone communities and responsible federal… read more

The purpose of this hearing was to evaluate preparedness and mitigation efforts among flood-prone communities and responsible federal agencies, by evaluating the accuracy of the FEMA flood map modernization process, its impact on states and localities, mechanisms for dispute resolution, and the impact of levee inspections and certifications on determinations of flood risk. 

Since the epic failure of the federal levees in New Orleans in August 2005, additional levee failures occurred during the Midwest floods in 2008 and the historic spring floods earlier this year in Rhode Island and Tennessee. 

On March 18, 2010, 16 Senators signed a letter to FEMA and the Corps of Engineers citing challenges in the ongoing flood map modernization process. Among the areas listed were: a lack of communication and outreach with local stakeholders; a lack of coordination between FEMA and USACE in answering questions about both flood mapping, flood insurance and flood control infrastructure repairs; a lack of recognition of locally funded flood control projects when determining flood zones; the affordability of flood insurance; inadequate time and resources to complete repairs to flood control structures before flood maps are finalized; and potential impacts new flood maps might have on economic development. 

This hearing provided an opportunity for the subcommittee to evaluate mapping methodologies and map dispute resolution mechanisms, hear suggestions for improved outreach to local residents and stakeholders, and determine options for local governments to finance levee inspections and repairs. 

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Member Statements

Senator Mark L. Pryor index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&&FileStore_id=650950be-bfbe-48d4-97d2-c711b6416e87" target="_blankview statement

Senator Mary L. Landrieu index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&&FileStore_id=2de5b4f6-6d35-411d-b834-8d0e19a6a52e" target="_blankview statement


Panel 1

The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy


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Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Sandra Knight


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Deputy Assistant Administrator, Federal Insurance & Mitigation Administration

Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Panel 2

The Honorable Bob Mehlhoff


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District 26

Montana House of Representatives

Dr. David Maidment


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Director of the Center for Research in Water Resources & the Hussein M. Alharthy Centennial Chair in Civil Engineering

The University of Texas at Austin

Sam Riley Medlock, JD, CFM


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Policy Counsel, Association of State Floodplain Managers

Member, National Committee on Levee Safety

Robert Rash, P.E., P.L.S.


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Chief Executive Officer & Chief Engineer

St. Francis Levee District of Arkansas

Dr. Joseph Suhayda


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Interim Director, Louisiana State University Hurricane Center

Chairman, Independent Technical Review Committee, FEMA/USACE Louisiana Storm Surge Study close

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*JOINT HEARING with the Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery* "Flood Preparedness a

Program ID:
Senate Committee
Senate Committee
342, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, District of Columbia, United States