U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today called on Congressional leaders to protect funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the upcoming resolution to fund the government into next year in order to support weather monitoring technologies like the Susquehanna River Flood Forecasting System. The system is responsible for monitoring water levels in the Susquehanna River basin, and is critical to monitoring water levels for drought and accurately predicting floods.
"Residents of flood zones and emergency management agencies rely on the flood forecasting system to prepare for and respond to rising waters, which protects lives and property and saves taxpayers money," said Senator Casey. "Unreliable data and outdated practices are not acceptable measures of protection for my constituents, and I will fight to keep this system functioning and prevent Pennsylvanians from facing unnecessary risk."
Senator Casey fought for funding for NOAA in the previous budget and urged NOAA to allocate sufficient funds for the systems.
Senator Casey's letter to congressional leaders is below:
The Honorable Harry Reid The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader Minority Leader
United States Senate United States Senate
The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye The Honorable Thad Cochran
Chairman Vice Chairman
Senate Committee on Appropriations Senate Committee on Appropriations
Dear Majority Leader Reid, Republican Leader McConnell, Chairman, and Ranking Member:
As you work on the continuing resolution for the next sixth months, I write to express my strong support for robust funding for flood forecasting systems and weather monitoring technologies in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) budget. In the aftermath of last year's devastating storms, we must continue to make critical investments to protect residents of areas at risk for flooding.
As you know, NOAA provides funding to systems across the country that disseminate accurate data on flooding threats. This information helps residents in these communities secure property and move to safer locations. Investing in flood forecasting systems supported by NOAA is also cost effective. I have been informed that for every dollar invested by the federal government in flood forecasting systems, approximately $20 can be saved through reduced flood damages and reduced payouts by the federal flood insurance program.
This funding is vital to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For example, last September flood forecasting systems were used up and down the Susquehanna River to give residents ample warning about flooding risks. This advanced warning allowed people in the affected areas to safely evacuate and protect their property.
I ask you to make sure the continuing resolution contains sufficient funding for NOAA's flood forecasting systems that will help our communities prepare for and protect against flooding disasters. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator