Loebsack Introduces Legislation to Create National Flood Center Print
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Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 02 August 2013 14:04

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02) announced today that he has introduced legislation that would establish a National Flood Center to conduct research on flooding, flood prevention and other flood-related issues.  He was joined by Congressmen Bruce Braley (IA-01) as an original cosponsor. The National Flood Research and Education Act (NFREA) will establish a consortium within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that includes institutes of higher education in order to advance the understanding of the causes of flooding, implement advanced flood prediction methods and promote policies that would help prevent future flood damage.

This legislation is supported by the Iowa Flood Center, with whom Loebsack will be holding a press event on TUESDAY, August 6th to discuss the legislation. Additional details will be released at a later date.

“Many of our communities are seeing an increased risk of flooding year after year that is costing valuable resources, time, and money in preparing for the worst,” said Congressman Loebsack. “We must establish a National Flood Center to help our communities prepare better and smarter in order to save lives and save taxpayer dollars in preparing for and recovering from floods. We need to look at floods comprehensively, test new methods and build on promising methods and techniques to better predict, prevent and recover from flooding.”

“Floods are a multifaceted societal problem the scope of which spans the mission of several agencies.  An academic center can bring together ideas and solutions from many disciplines and accelerate the process of building resilient communities.  Last but not least it is the academia where the education and training of the next cadre of experts happens,” said Witold Krajewski, Director of the Iowa Flood Center.

The NFREA establishes a National Flood Research and Education Center (NFREC) to conduct research on flooding, flood prevention and other flood-related issues. NFREC will ensure that differing hydrology, weather, urban, suburban, and rural areas and economies are examined so diverse flood situations are represented.  Research will be coordinated with a wide-range of federal, state, and local organizations and led by NOAA with an institution of higher education that has significant expertise and experience in examining flood-related issues. The research will provide important insights on comprehensive flooding issues, such as water management or release rates for the Corps of Engineers, flood inundation and preparation, and management and recovery efforts in other local, state and federal agencies.

The National Flood Center’s work will lead to a wide variety of policy and practice recommendations as they relate to predicting, preparing, preventing and recovering from floods.  This will include analysis of the economic and social effects of flooding, analysis of federal, state, regional and local flood policy and development and testing of new or improved risk-assessment tools, methods and models, as well as share valuable flood prediction information with the public. The bill will bring together leading institutions in the fields of physical and environmental science, including hydrology, hydraulics, hydrometeorology, climate, as well as engineering, sociology and economics to provide a comprehensive flood research effort.

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