Bipartisan Flood Legislation Introduced in the Senate

On March 3, a pair of Senators on the Senate Commerce Committee introduced legislation to establish a National Integrated Flood Information System. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the Flood Level Observation, Operations, and Decision Support (FLOODS) Act.

The legislation is aimed at improving the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) forecasting and communication of flood, tornado, and hurricane events.

The bill also includes language to do the following:
  • Establish a “National Integrated Flood Information System” to coordinate and integrate flood research at NOAA;
  • Establish partnerships with institutions of higher education and federal agencies to improve total water predictions;
  • Designate a service coordination hydrologist at each National Weather Service River Forecast Center to increase impact-based decision support services at State and local levels;
  • Evaluate and improve flood watches and warnings and communication of information to support coordinated flood management;
  • Encourage NOAA to evaluate acoustic tracking and measuring of windstorms, use aerial surveys of floodwaters to improve flood mapping, and improve modeling of freshwater outflow into the ocean; and
  • Establish a Committee to ensure coordination of Federal Departments with joint or overlapping responsibilities in water management.

You can read the text of the bill here.