KATY (Covering Katy News) – Katy Area Economic Development Council is supporting three bills designed to address flooding and disaster preparedness in Katy and the Gulf Coast region.
Texas Senate bills 6, 7 and 8 are being introduced by Senators Brandon Creighton, Lois Kolkhorst and Charles Perry. If passed, SB 7 and 8 will strengthen emergency response training and programs at both at the state and local levels. Senate Bill 8 will create a long-term planning process for flood control.
The Katy area lies within the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs and both experienced major flooding during Harvey causing record damage to the Katy area.
“Moving forward, without further action to improve disaster preparedness and mitigate flooding, the area will continue to experience flooding impacting its businesses and residents,” said a statement from the Katy Area EDC. “Continued occurrence of flooding will not only have massive impacts on business and personal property, but it has the potential to slow economic growth for the entire region.”
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The Katy EDC is joining a larger group known as Houston Stronger in its endorsement of the three bills.
“Senate Bill 7 will help leverage billions of federal recovery dollars for Texas and help our communities plan and fund flood mitigation infrastructure across the state,” said Auggie Campbell, spokesperson for Houston Stronger.
Texas leads the nation in declared major disasters and square miles of flood-prone land according to Houston Stronger. Hurricane Harvey alone inflicted an estimated $125 billion in damage and caused 82 deaths, the orginizatoin said in its press release.
“Since 2015, Texas has had nine declared disasters related to flooding and 65% of Texas Counties have experienced flooding,” Houston Stronger’s statement said.
Houston Stronger looks forward to working with these leaders as well as other lawmakers and officials in order to develop a comprehensive solution to build a more resilient Texas for the future.