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The Woodlands Township working with state, national leaders regarding flooding

The Woodlands Township board members in Washington

THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- Officials with The Woodlands Township recently made personal visits with state and federal leaders in Washington, D.C. on behalf of The Woodlands residents to help in flood mitigation for the region.

Township Chairman Gordy Bunch and Director Bruce Rieser, along with Township Manager of Governmental Affairs Todd Stephens, traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with state and federal officials on behalf of residents who were flooded and how to secure money to help in planning to mitigate future flooding.

“Our commitment to The Woodlands residents is to look for mitigation funds to help with repeated flooding we’ve seen the last few years,” said Chairman Bunch. “As we have experienced with Hurricane Harvey and the floods of 2016, it is highly imperative to address flooding issues. We were seeking meaningful conversations in Washington, D.C. with the individuals and departments that will be appropriating funds from Congress. We wanted to make sure our voices were heard and let our state and national leaders know what is happening in Southeast Texas and particularly along Spring Creek. We have opened excellent dialogue to create the awareness of our issues and challenges.”

Township Chairman Bunch and Director Rieser, who Chairs the Drainage Task Force for The Woodlands Township, on January 17, 2018 joined other Montgomery County elected officials in Washington, D.C. to support additional federal disaster recovery funding following Hurricane Harvey. Both Chairman Bunch and Director Rieser are elected officials of the governing body of The Woodlands Township and represent the 115,000 residents in a volunteer capacity.

“I was very encouraged on how supportive the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials are regarding the flooding victims of Hurricane Harvey and flooding in this region,” said Director Rieser. “They were very receptive of our visit and we want to ensure that the needs of the Township will not be overlooked.”

Montgomery County and The Woodlands Township officials are working with the State of Texas and members of the Texas congressional delegation to fund a study of Montgomery County watersheds, including Spring Creek, to better understand local hydrology within the watersheds and to recommend steps that can be taken to reduce area flooding to homeowners and properties. The group advocated for Senate passage of H.R. 4667, a bill that would provide $81 billion for disaster recovery to states impacted by severe storms in 2017. The version of the bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in December includes $12.5 billion dedicated to funding mitigation projects to reduce the risks and impacts of future flooding. The group spoke in favor of maintaining, or increasing, the $12.5 billion set aside for mitigation as the bill is considered in the U.S. Senate in the coming weeks. The Montgomery County watershed study could be considered by the State for funding from the mitigation funds should they be included in the final bill.

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