[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to publicly release the data on the status of Metro East levees and make both agencies available to brief local community leaders and residents.
“Understanding the structural integrity of the levees in the Metro East area and the risk to those living behind them is fundamentally important to my constituents: hundreds of thousands of lives and billions in economic activity are at stake,” Durbin wrote. “Having access to information and your commitment to work with the local communities in addressing their concerns should be the bedrock of updating flood maps in any area.”
Durbin cited yesterday’s announcement that FEMA had agreed, at his urging, to delay the implementation of the new flood maps for the St. Louis region for at least one year as an opportunity for better understanding: “This additional time brings with it an opportunity for all of those affected by the updating of flood maps a chance to better understand the status of the levees in question and the flood mapping process. I respectfully request your assistance in providing residents of the Metro East area a more complete and transparent accounting of the status of the levees protecting their homes and businesses.”