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tv   U.S. Army Corps Testifies on Hurricane Ida Response  CSPAN  October 12, 2021 9:16pm-10:35pm EDT

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>> officials with the u.s. army corps of engineers testify on the response to hurricane ida. they answer questions on a variety of topics including the disaster preparedness, correlations between climate change and extreme weather events and investment in critical infrastructure systems. the senate environment and public works committee this is just over one hour and 15 minutes.
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good morning, everybody. i'm pleased to join our colleagues in calling this hearing to order. welcome, everyone. to the witnesses joining us today from the u.s. army corps of engineers general butch graham, how long have people been calling you butch?
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my mother wanted me to grow up [inaudible] we spend a lot of time in a baptist church. welcome and to the brigadier general and colonel steve murphy. folks that are behind you, we welcome all of you. thank you for joining us for what sadly has become an all too frequent issue and that is providing emergency response in the aftermath ofge extreme weather. each of the witnesses comes from a different position from different parts of the country on the response to hurricane ida as well as their thoughts and more resilient water resources and infrastructure on building back better as the president likes to say.
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hurricanes have become more intense and more frequently. this trend is projected to continue in the years ahead as the planet continues to warm. accordingly, the importance of the response services will grow as well. that's why we must ensure all parts that include federal, local and state are all working together in lockstep to improve the resiliency of the infrastructure so we can withstand these extreme storms. $14.5 billion flood protection system built after hurricane katrina has a great example of a smart government approach to resilience and one where the federal government funded the total project and state of louisiana has begun to pay back its share in a similar arrangement on the highway 301 and to get into
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delaware when they made landfall, exactly 16 years after katrina the new system was put to its first test and it held strong and prevented the catastrophic flooding in new orleans that we saw in 2005 and where we can see that federal investment is in resiliency pace will diffidence. the challenges still remain one of the biggest obstacles with the project as well as in delaware is often on the reimbursements to cover the costs to maintain the projects after they are constructed. but constrained by politics and budget shortfalls can't always recover all the costly communities. the area is strapped for resources and is unable to make
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investments in the resilience that they desperately needed, and we know that it is real. the stakes cannot be higher including the economy, the homes and people's lives and livelihoods. look at how louisiana fared during the water infrastructure known as the protective much of the city from flooding that the community is in the states were devastated. we might have a photo of that. >> my home state of delaware and from erosion and flooding and wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour. new jersey faced similar and we saw the videos of water rushing through the cities while the final number of deaths attributed to hurricane ida so
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we know of 29 confirmed deaths in louisiana and more than 40 in new york and new jersey. and reporting at least seven additional states. in addition, experts project the economic impact over $90 billion making it the seventh costliest hurricane to hit the united states since the year 2000. seven hurricanes each responsible for $90 billion in economic impact all within 20 years. like all major storms, it will teach a lot including what works and what does not work and while we can all be thankful for the engineering protected as one of the most vital systems from the destruction we must also recognize that until we address the root causes the u.s. will continue to face natural disasters and increasing
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severity and intensity leaving more devastating impacts and that's why we need to dramatically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions while we reduce investments andnd resiliency and create a lot of jobs while doing so. the prevention is worth a pound of cure and here is where it's still ringing the truth today. the corps of engineers provides tremendous value to the nation as a primary product with the resources infrastructure and with more extreme weather events caused by a climate changing climate. it's never been more important that the infrastructure stands up to the growing challenge and protects thegr people that we al represent. we look forward to hearing each of yourr testimonies today and first i want to turn to our wing man and wing woman for an
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opening statement. we all have competing hearings going on in homeland security and it's a business meeting where they need me to come to be there to do votes at the beginning and then you are in charge and i will come back as fast as i can. thank you. it's good to see a familiar face. majorl general graham who served as commander of the pittsburgh district you were my core leader that covers a significant portion of my state and west virginia. thank you for being here today and for the hospitality extended by you and your team during the visit to the facilities in louisiana earlier this year and i want to thank you also, general, for being with us here today. thank you for your service and i know some of it has not been domestic. some of it has been international.
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we all watched the impacts and aftermath both in louisiana and also the northeast. tragically an estimated 82 people lost their lives and billionsn of dollars in damages. those same states and communities that recently experienced a natural disaster so greatly for our fellow americans impacted by this hurricane and also of the homeland security appropriations subcommittee my staff and i stayed abreast of the responsest to the disaster and the efforts that other agencies provide support such as the core and how important that has been. but the most recent account there is more than 710 personnel deployed and received 24 mission assignments totaling 223.4 million in response to hurricane ida. under the public law this went towards the protection and
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repair of critical infrastructure as well as the provision of equipment and facilities to fight floods and maintain essential services. again i want to reiterate my gratitude to the men and women for performing these functions. i'm also eager to hear how we can supportt the efforts to help yothe nation respond and recover from these type of disasters in the future. by all accounts, in our chair we talked about this the hurricane storm damage system known as authorized by congress and constructed by the core performed as intended. the system provided, prevented a more significant loss of life and damage to the city. not all areas are covered by the system however and that's where we saw the devastation and unprotected communities in louisiana and replicated in the northeastern states.
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it's important local state and federal partners continue to work to identify and address existing gaps in coastal storm damage reduction. the 5.7 billion of supplemental funding provided just last week will support these efforts. solutions will take time, however, which is why it's important to work with communities to identifyvi and mitigate to the solar jackets program planning assistance to states and other authorities. challenges with and suggested improvements to existing technical assistance programs are something that i am keen on hearing from all of you. i'm also eager to hear how we can support and help the nation recover from these disasters in the future. and providing programmatic direction for the resources development act legislation that
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we are engaged in right now. let me reiterate the gratitude and again i want to thank the chair man for having this hearing. i'd like to introduce the witnesses in the absence. first major general graham is the current deputy commanding general for civil and emergency operations and headquarters where he oversees all of thewh civil war activities, 7 billion-dollar annual program in response to other natural disasters. the previous assignments include commander of north atlantic division and the pittsburgh district from which he hailed. the second is brigadier general the current commander of the north atlantic division that oversees the $5 billion annual program that covers six districts including activities trin more than a dozen states africa and europe. the previous include the pacific
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ocean division, savannah and philadelphia district. the third witness is the current commander of the new orleans rldistrict where he oversees all activities in louisiana. he previously commanded the national district of the corps of engineers. i want to welcome each of you to the committee today. weer appreciate your service and look forward to your statements. we will start with you. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify to discuss the corps of engineers emergency response to hurricane ida. i'm general graham the deputy commandingng general for the several operations here at the headquarters. i'd like to start by expressing condolences to the families who lost loved ones during hurricane ida. tour thoughts and prayers are with those who've been impacted by the storm.
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and to draw comparisons the $14.5 billion reduction system was built and as the name implies to reduce the risk of flooding caused by the storms to the city. the system performed exactly as designed. while the projects of the bill helped reduce the flood rift of the vulnerable communities this is achieved through the emergency response partnerships with state and local governments and contracting partners in response to 760 have been deployed so we snuck an extra
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52.5 millionss flood control and coastal emergency funds as a part of this massive response with of the team i am proud of i'd like to highlight one of the missions managed by the court on behalf of fema. the goal of the program is to provide homeowners and disaster areas to protect storm damage roofs and this allows residents to return to their homes restoring the local communities and economies. since september 1st l of the cot has received over 34,000 valid requests and as of this morning we've completedeq over half, 17,000 have been installed to date. to put this in context last year for the hurricanes that hit the gulf coast installed 13,000, so 13,000 last year and were up to 34,000 we need to install this year and we've completed a
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17,002 date. this provides a perspective of just how damaging it was. after any event working with fema we evaluated ourselves to see where we can improve, for the temporary mission even though we are installing roofs at almost twice the rate as the previous efforts, we look for ways to get started sooner by speeding up how to get them to the contractors and by bringing in potentially the contractors early. looking more broadly we continue to see the weather evens across the nation s last year alone we responded to 228 different disasters including ten hurricanes, nine major floods and three major wildfires. one of the ways of responding to the challenges by incorporating the climate change resiliency into the planning process given the scale of climate change a more regional approach to planning for the future events as required and recently the chief of engineers made a c recommendation for the authorization of the $29 billion
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systemwide risk management strategy for the coastline of texas. when looking at any future project we understand we need to comprehensively evaluate and analyze all benefits. the water resource development act created flexibility for the army courtf to address the nees of economically disadvantaged communities, minority communities and rural communities and it promotes an approach that analyzes multiple benefits for project justification, social benefits, economic benefits and environmental benefits. the authorities inn this act encourage the use of natural and nature-based features, seek alternatives to accommodate the sea level rise and inspire ways to expand beneficial charge material. we are working hard to put these authorities to work for the american people and thank you again for the opportunity to speak today and i look forward to answering any questions. >> thank you. >> i'm the brigadier general
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commander of the course north atlantic division. thank you for the opportunity to provide some context to the response to the northeast region. as the storm risk management is a shared responsibility, one executed best in a whole of community approach, the partners with federal agencies and nonfederal stakeholders. the collective skill set combines with the capability and enhanced effectiveness in preparing for, responding to and recovering from storm events. in my role i'm responsible for federal engineering work and all parts of the 14th northeastern states. before the storm hit the region the districts were able to obtain the information concerning thena center, the u.. geological survey, the national weather service and other
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meteorological data through the accurate prediction it's conductive in the predictive analysis based on the weather forecast and the division lowered its course reserve or elevation before the rain arrived to maintain the maximum amount of flood storage available to reduce the impactle of downstream. we provided early support to the state and local partners by contacting them to determine their needs. several of the district emergency operations centers activated to provide technical assistance under 89 and alternate flood fighting materials were placed on standby, pre- position and ultimately released as needed. when the remnants of the hurricane arrived, we were impacted mostly by significant
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events where the rainfall overwhelmed the storm water systems and as a part of the assessment i was able to conduct site surveys of locations within the storm's impact area. these locations included areas where the studies in the river basin iner new jersey i also surveyed of the sites where the core has active projects like the indian rock in york pennsylvania and the river in new jersey and i'm happy to report the projects performed as designed. finally i observed areas where there was significant impact but no current projects or studies like the river areas in philadelphia. we also provided technical expertise to the states including a liaison officer to both pennsylvania and new jersey state emergency operations
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centers, a subjects. matter expt in new jersey and the watering information for the pennsylvania department ofwa transportation both two and three along with of the states they supported and pennsylvania, new jerseyne and w york were satisfied with the proactive approach to this event. in the aftermath of super storm sandy, the congress prepares the performance report analyzing how the completed projects performed and that report and other work following sandy has heightened our intent to build resilience into the coastal storm risk management and flood risk management projects. together with our federal and nonfederal partners, we are currently competing post-storm evaluations to determine impact and develop efficiency reports for these projects. an initial assessment should damages incurred to some of the flood risk management project elements which will require an investment in repairs. in addition to the repairs and maintenance we conducted on
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these projects in some cases it recommends a comprehensive assessments of their status to include the review of the performance criteria and recommendation for updating based on current science, recent storm events and factors such as climate change. inin common with much of the nation's infrastructure many of the projects require the continuing investment operation maintenance i thank you again fr inviting us to speak today and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. next we will have colonel murphy. i'm colonel steve murphy the commander of the army corps of engineers and the new orleans district and i thank you for the opportunity to meet with you today t to discuss the responseo the hurricane in my district of
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operation. it encompasses all of south louisiana from texas and the west to mississippi and the east and i focus in large part on coastal land climate change issues. the louisiana coast as a working coast as the state calls it due to the significance of the activitiesdo and waterways and benefits to the national economy. these include five of the top busiest ports in the mississippi river and two of the busiest waterways in the nation and economic as well as the gulf intracoastal waterway which is the nation's busiest waterway all of which have been and continue to be impacted by gulf storms and the majority of the population also lives in the southern half of the state and coast. coastal louisiana sits at the epicenter of climate change. sea level rise coexist as threats that are major concerns for both the core and the state. consequentially my major missions are navigation, coastal
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and environmental restoration, coastal storm risk management and flood risk management. flooding of any kind whether rainfall or river flooding or what has been occurring on a more frequent basis the occurrence of all three of the same kind is a major concern for the state and for my district. when they are residents of south louisiana during a storm in the same impact of their neighbors for them, working with our neighbors to promise a future in coastal louisiana is not just a professional responsibility but a personal commitment. almost a third of my 1100 personal workforce evacuated and almost all of us lost power and almost half lost a form of damage to their homes with 37 of us experiencing so much damage that their homes are now unlivable. while we couldn't be more proud of the performance in the
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greater areas the risk reduction system and how it validated that you've heard of already. other parts of the state were not as fortunate. where there was federal investment in the levees and flood walls though, the systems performed as designed. they reinforced of the lessons we've learned in the last 16 years since they reinforced the value of the core system wide approach and demonstrated the importance of sustainability and resiliency since then into its design. we have projects currently underway that are incorporated outside of the greater new orleansa. area. we are now in day number 40 of the recovery from hurricane ida.
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i will close by saying there couldn't be a better team to handle the natural disasters than the team that has gathered federal, state and local in louisiana. everyone here knows thena disasr response is truly a team sport. i do not think we could be working more closely or cooperatively with the state of louisiana than we are right now. after personally experiencing two of the longest floodlights in the districts history, the most active hurricane season in history last year, the pandemic and now hurricane ida i can definitively say this is a highly functional collaborative team that has made the response in support of the state and these disasters and especially ida successful. the same spirit and cooperation drives the investigation and implementation of the natural solutions that are in sync with the 50 billion-dollar coastal master plan and to the
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consideration to the program of large-scale diversions in the lower mississippi river. i could go on but out of respect for your time i will close there. thank you again for the opportunity to be here. >> thank you, colonel. we will go to questions and a belated happy birthday to my colleague from maryland. thank you very much. we really do appreciate the leadership in the army corps it's critically important. i was in louisiana new orleans after katrina and the committee went down to inspect first hand the damage that was done and it was shocking to see the amount of loss and property so the
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investment is one that we all supported and it worked. we have a responsibility to deal with the realities of climate change both in mitigating the futurere pollutants that are eating the greenhouse gases as well as adapt to the realities and your responsibilities on adapting to the realities i want to just touch on briefly. we made a decision in maryland to invest in the nourishment for the northeast was becoming more and more severe and we invested millions of dollars and the result has been billions of
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dollars of savings and so these types ofin investments pay off dramatically. but there's also a change in the risk factors that i'm seeing in our communities and we saw we had flooding before because of a long sequence of rain and causing banks to rise beyond what they could handle and you've dealt with that issue through your flood management programs but in recent years, we found something different occurring and that is the large volume short period of time of rainfall. that was true so it wasn't really the integrity of the flood system. it was more the extreme amount of rain in a very short period of time. i mention that because in maryland, as you all know, we experienced in a 20 month period to 100 year floods but what was
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unique about the floods that we had never experienced this type of flooding before. the cities on the banks of the rivers, so we have seen the rivers rise and cause flooding. we had never seen the large volume of rain occur in such a short period of time that couldn't possibly be managed by ththe current system how do we prepare for this, not appreciate you mentioning the beneficial use of the material. we are doing that and replenishing the wetlands. that is part of the strategy because the wetlands not only manage and manage the pollutants going and from runoff so it's an
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important part of the strategy. so i'm interested as to what your recommendations are to us to manage the realities of the current risk factors on violent storms occurring with a large amount of rain in a short period of time, which is not the way we've traditionally been dealing with infrastructure to prevent flooding. >> thank you for the question and let me address that. we put together the administration has directed it, he climate action plan it has five major components and i thinkpo those address the concerns. we have to deal with a different
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future. we've got to enable to the partners and a lot of that is with sharing the science with them and some of the committees for the science being created so we have to share that information with our local partners and can then stand up to scrutiny so the folks, local communities, states realize the challenges that they are under and then finally, senator, we've got to plan and put into operation this authorizing community plays a key part in that. >> thank you. my time has run out. i would urge us to think about how we can work in partnership to deal with these extreme events that are causing the communities to be extremely vulnerable. we can -- it's hard to plan for every part of our community getting an extreme weather event
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that we have to have a game plan because it is occurring. we've seen it several times in maryland. it's unprecedented of the type of flood risk that we currently have so we are going to be looking to you in this report to give a game plan on how we can protect the communities from the realities of these storms. thank you madam chair. >> thank you madam chair. i know this hearing is on ida, but all three of the individuals were participants in the tragedy that we faced in 2019 and a flooding case in oklahoma where we had levees that were 75-years-old and they held up
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and i can remember it being up to my waist at that time we were very fortunate and since that time we've been on pins and needles to what might happen if we should get another. nevertheless everyone performed very well and the word of the language that we put into the 2020 system performed very well. do you believe it's important to take into account the safety of the benefits like you did in the chiefs report? chiefs report? >> senator, absolutely. >> i have to say they really did a good job in terms of the private sector.
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we had to make some changes in our current statutes to accommodate that and things didwork out real well. it is connected as arkansas to the mississippi river and a lot of people have a hard time understanding that we are an inevitable they've worked on the impact of that navigation is it
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key to the effort and how does the core prioritize the dredging efforts followingg the flooding in storm surge events? >> thank you for the question. i would say absolutely that is one of the things we are looking to do as soon we can get on the road and in the water i have boots on the waters and i'm responsible to get the surveys in conjunction with of the coast guard'ss to clear them. >> i appreciate that. in the flooding it was a shock and exposed a lot of gaps in the system. we had to bend the law a little bit so i'd like to ask you for the panel for the future what
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authorities does the core needed to enable them to respond and is this something you can do for the record to get the ideas for how can we work more efficiently with the private sector such as we did in the state of oklahoma? >> thank you. senator whitehouse. >> welcome, all of you. i'm glad to have you here. i represent rhode island it's been an extreme rainfall. it's kind of off the charts and in terms of a persistent what we see coming is sea level rise in
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fact we have to redraw the map of rhode island to accommodate. against the backdrop we have experienced dramatic failure of mapping and i've read press reports that in texas it was off by as much as 50% when the floods hit houston area. as a result, rhode island had to do its own mapping going back and we've got a very accurate and successful mapping tool called storm tool that has been run by the coastal resource management.
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it is annoying to fund and also have the state of rhode island have to pay for its own mapping because fema isn't accurate. they would have to bake in climate change and they are powerful forces. what are you doing to try to make sure that you are operating off of good flood maps and people are not being clobbered by the fact they didn't know they were in a flood zone so they didn't have proper insurance and now they are really stuck.
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to understand the hypocrisy that is we understand it is absolutely essential and that is the bedrock founded on the predictions related to climate change are simply zero factored out which is simply bad predictions when we know perfectly well what's going on here and you see it change and act if it is going to go straight from here rather than continue its trajectory that it's going to go level state so
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please take a look at that. the other thing for the hearing and my colleagues which i always do, we are talking about ida the army corps of engineers had the flood and coastal storm damage reduction program and in the last decade it has run beef and rain favoring in land and coastal flooding by 19-1 that was our best year it would be at the tail end of the 19-1 losing battle to 120-1 and the fy 22 budget has 45-1 and i want to thank them for agreeing to take a hard look to understand what is going onn but when you look t the sea level rise and offshore
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storms as a coastal storm, the idea that you guys have set up your in land storm reduction program in a way that is so inexplicably favors in landover coastal flooding is a matter of concern to those of us that represent the coastal states. we are working on that but i didn't want to let this opportunity go by without raising that astounding discrepancy what it means to the state. a. >> thank you for being here. we do appreciate your service to the country in this capacity, but you've all had outstanding careers and served in so many different ways. i want to associate myself with
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senator inhofe's words regarding the importance of getting back on track and the benefits to the economy and all those kind of things. it truly has been a great champion for many many years and it's important not only to our states but to the economy and to the entire country and really the world. ..
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thank you for that question. certainly, it was a great investment. i was able to visit colonel murphy a week after the storm hit and i was expecting to stay in mobile or in baton rouge. one week after the storm hit, the amazing >> in your opening statement
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you talked about the team effort between the federal, state and local government tribal network to address the issues caused by hurricane ida. in your opinion how much does it help when they are able to lean on nonfederal sponsors? and what are the benefitss of having local side-by-side with the federal government when addressing the aftermath of extreme weather events not only the aftermath butut the precursor. with those nonfederal sponsors through the state. i was talking to the governor directly into w chairman klein. with the restoration
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authority. but that communication has facilitated what has created a one approach where questions and concerns and friction is i immediately identified. but i word attribute that communication that exist right now to why we have been successful today. >> what other flood and storm reduction project with the risk reduction system impacted by hurricane ida and what is your assessment of the performance d to be in the
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districto that butts up to new orleans after katrina? i know there isas tremendous impact they are. sometimes we need those areas out because of the focus on the bigger centers. so tell us what else was impacted. >> thank you senator. during my opening remarks any federal system performs we don't see any major over topping so outside of that there's over $1 billion of the supplementall projects we did not see any major impact on and for the west shore link punch a train that was not in place but the m good news we have the first contract on that to reduce risk which is one of the most heavily impacted areas of the storm
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and those contracts are in place and the majority coming in 2022 to be well on our way to completing the project. >> thank you for being here. with the question is giving me this time i have to go to another 11:00 o'clock meeting so on a quiz you said navigation routes the third is the inland waterway what is the one in the middle? >> i was hoping you would say that. [laughter] >> right along the western border of my state. major general graham this is the second time we have gotten toea work together. this is great so i will say something that we talked about
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predisaster mitigation and how important it is. that was the last flood in 2016 what wear are from our local partners sometimes even. >> in some sense. i'm not laying blame that the process to get health is complicated so you have an opportunity to the climate program that has five different aspects i think that streamlines some of these if i look at my cities and towns and counties that have flood disaster experts for somebody that is taxed with that but also with traffic or trash pickup or other functions because they aree. spread pretty thin you have that expertise
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and so certainly there is a lot ofou experience so what we have found it is chaos. but i think we could have done better with and recovered quicker had we had a little more handholding in a simplistic way to react to some of those. so just put that on your radar screen we just appropriated nine.7 billion with a continuing resolution. i was wondering your process and timeline for extending these funds and also will you make sure that information regarding funding when we make request for information that comes in a timely fashion? >> in terms of transparency to respond to thete request, absolutely.
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we are absolutely committed to being responsive. to the timeline on the five.$71 billion just received the american people are working on that right now. the investigation projects , the construction project the mississippi river project and i work we have got and the goal is with any other disaster supplemental to get that delivered as fast as we possibly can. >> what is the timeline? do you know? >> i don't know we will get that answer back to you. >> general we were all astounded when we saw the video of hurricane ida flooding the subway in new york city. i think it's something we hadn't anticipated. what do you attribute that to? was there something a
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predisaster could be better performed to mitigate that as the colonel said the previous disaster in response to katrina prevented a lot more damage than ida so what do you see in the northeast with very unlikely places to see that? >> i appreciate the question and we all watched what happened in new york city. we don't have a project there but what happened was a large amount of rain fell in a very short period of time. record levels in the storm water system couldn't handle it. so the roads turned into rivers water went to the lowest point many of which was the basement. a lot of rescues happened in the basement and folks trying.
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and then once you get out of your vehicle now you are fighting the water and the power of the water will overtake anybody so regretfully new york city had 18 death and new jersey had more and had 30 i believe. and to the counterparts of the statee level from the flash flood it's about education and letting people know this risk is out there. don't go into the water hopefully that problem isem directed you haveav our way out. >> the bill that we passed it was incorporated into the back in terms of to modernize the storm systems. i don't know how the storm system is but i would imagine it is in excess of 100 years
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certainly a systems that old in our state and then to try to manage that so on the front and what we know to have fallacies on the backend will end up saving money and lives and property but we have to make the process for communities and states to access the dollar so they feel they can work with you and other partners to get the projects up and running thank you all very much i appreciate your hard work thank you. >> thank you for keeping the trains on time. >> . >> so different uniforms and same team.
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so in terms of what we witness with the subways flooding so with the climate change that we see we see those hunker down and sit for a while is that a fair characterization. >> i believe it is that is a fairha characterization and massive rainfall events we weren't expecting can't a lot of people by surprise we saw the tragedies in western terrace —- tennessee and if you ask that could happen here i would guess they said it couldn't so education is
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probably our best offense. >> anyone else want to comment? >> i will mention a little bit beyond newha york city where we started to build over the last 100 years in the floodplains that is something i know our state partners are very concerned with because they don't want just to be projects but natural and nature -based features and nonstructural to move people out of the floodplain that exist today. >> so to come up to the east coast on the other side of delaware link katie is the
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communications director who lives in new jersey and her family farm was destroyed housings and building and equipment so that's a human face and a lot of other folks that are suffering so all of this but hurricane ida was the first big test of the new storm risk reduction system and by all accounts i didn't get a lot of a's and i was in school but that is encouraging to hear but that doesn't function without tireless communication with other critical players.
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then to talk about the differences between the response to hurricane katrina and rita and response to hurricane ida andnd the biggest changes and lessons learned from previous storms that you put into use and responding to hurricane ida. >> i could probably spend 30 minutes but i want. i waited tell you the systems approach that the core now uses. before katrina it was a hurricane protection system that was in name only allowing water into the city through the canals and incrementally funded so huge changes as a system which i think has applications about the committee is interested in how do we get after coastal resilience so federal funding to move forward all the
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technology we see today in the system. that allows decisions to be made that are not funding based so we have a willing federal partner that did not exist between katrina and now with the state and coastal protection restoration and agency the communication is back-and-forth but i have a single state sponsor responsible for working ministry issues and then third i would say is the alternative environmental arrangements there is no way to buildki the infrastructure that you need without having an environmental alternative arrangement to allow you to move quickly. is still net those requirements but what congress
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allowed after katrina we will live forward very quickly. >> he didn't need those minutes we will put those in the bank. as i mentioned earlier the intensity and duration of storms has increased significantly as climate continues with intensity as we experience the impact of climate change the way we approach risk reduction taking those factors intont account. want to be very brief because i want to recognize that senator but does it account for climate change for flood risk management projects? >> i will give you a quick
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example around highway one which goes down to the florida keys and we have formulated that project for the high sea level curve because the aspect is the only road in or out as a reason for the project. >> he is a man on a mission. >> thank you for being here. 's question is for you on emergency preparedness you spoke in yourt testimony about the lessons the army core of engineer and how it informs
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the core response to hurricane sida. and with that climate change affecting all aspects differently preparing for the worst-case scenario everywhere is even more important. that's wise pleased to see l.a. district partner with the arizona department of emergency and military affairs in september to houston emergency exercise where above average rainfall in arizona causes the core and then risk significant downstream flooding can you describe the value that tabletop exercises like hosted in arizona can provide as you provide for the worst-case scenario?
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and as we work to respond to the real-world damages like those caused by hurricane ida? >> thank you for the question we were all watching the monsoon season down in new mexico and arizona closely so those exercises at the south pacific vision one —- that key partnership at the colonel spoke to worked so well within the state of louisiana that we build that connective tissue within the state partners around arizona. make a friend before you neede a friend so if you haven't establish that trust before hand you have to storm and perform and we don't want to do that it is key those are to build trust.te >> it just reminds me find the space shuttle simulator but we
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do tabletop scenarios that are complex and in arizona right now it is the worst drought in our countries history and in arizona's history we have a subcommittee hearing on the specific issue later today. to discuss what do we do here going forward to mitigate? and because of climate issues we are facing we had one of the worst wildfire seasons. after the fire, if it rains comes the flooding and we have been dealing with that so i appreciate you doing this. i have another question about core benefit cost ratio general the core makes most construction and investigation and projects benefit as a way
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to measure the value of the project p and what it will provide to the surrounding community including preventing a worst-case scenario and unlike many folks on the committee to support efforts the projects benefit the cost ratio not just the monetary value of property damage but the risks to life and health of those affected by the potential core project. so when you look across the country do you believe the core does a good job at prioritizing investments and the investigation and projects that are most likely to prevent future disasters? >> senator, thank you for the question. everything we do there is always room for improvement andfo those benefits we often evaluate a project on the economic development benefits we are working now to
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incorporate three other benefits that are regional and the environmental benefits as enwell. those include what you just spoke to we will make sure we are including all of those. >> thank you general graham and to all of you for being here today i yield back 18 seconds talking about climate change and project design for flood risk management projects and i want to do a follow-up to that question for the panel if i could and how does the core adapt the design process
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with the rapid advance of science and with that interconnect one —- connectivity with that intensity of climate related impacts to the future. would you like to take a shot of that. >> thank you for the question we have lots of projects we are studying and we do take the current science the existing engineering that is out there and then new data coming in with climate change that is adjusting their projects and you see that on the coastal projects that w we have in delaware and maryland with the systems that we have
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but also going to the flood risk management projects that has to pass through safely passed to the urban areas and then to let that expand. >> anything you like to add to this. >> down in the mississippi valley division we have the engineer research development center which is the corps of engineers and for a lot of our issues we are working closely withhe them for technology and those on the lower mississippi river we are incorporating the best science and data they provide us. >> anything else you want to add before we turn the page? >> research and development aspects of this we know the world is changing and to make
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sure we're on a solid foundation of science is critical. >> regarded by science not blinded by silence that is on —- science that is good another regarding flooding impacts in urban areas not like the greater wilmington delaware area. with that north atlantic region although ida had significantly weekend by the time it made its way up the lease cut - - these coast. can you just described for us briefly the specific challenge the court faces in conducting urban environments and then to overcome them and how we better overcome them in the future? >> thank you for the question
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and definitely delaware and all the states in the northeast and that combination of the core of engineers would come up with that are nonstructural moving folks out of the floodplain and allows the water to expand into certain areas like parks or other environmental habitats and other educational toolsha to allow what happens river gauges installing more of them which goes to the early-morning system one of the success i heard from the state they couldwe warn their citizens to the automated system was outut that a new flash flooding was happening because of the river gauge.
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it's a partnership and a shared responsibility. >> general graham a different question dealing with environmental justice communities. my faith around the country. but despite the recent supplemental bills with federal investments for critical infrastructure so disproportionately affect those who don't haveff the means especially those in those economically disadvantaged populations rather than mitigating the damage on the backend it is imperative to protect those communities that need the mosthe help and so just toor discuss how he's helping these communities with natural disasters. >> thank you for that question.
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>> that guidance we receive from president biden is absolutely clear. and environmental justice. and to focus and then often times and then there's great environmental justice concerns so we are formulating a bunch of those projects and those areas right now. and some ofla those have been in front of this committee and the larger ones that will be there so in that one aspect. >> so more places so they are
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saving you from any further damage i might inflict. actually been very forthright. and that i would like to ask and you can receive it shortly. before we adjournedco there is some housekeeping unanimous consent to submit for the record so and by the close of october 20thednesday please reply to us by
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wednesday november 3rd and in closing thank you to the witnesses for your testimony todayn. so it's been a few years and uniform and for the men and women that you lead i know so many of your teams with those communities and with the worsening climate crisis. but with that we are dismissed great to see you. [inaudiblet conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]
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upply and their impact on the public's health. the hearing is two hours.


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