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Rep. Mace Urges Biden Administration to Take Flood Risks in Lowcountry Seriously

July 14, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-01) on Wednesday urged the Biden administration and Congress to take seriously the increasingly dangerous flooding experienced in the Lowcountry when it comes to any infrastructure package.
During a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on the Biden administration's 2022 budget,Mace asked NOAA Acting Assistant Administrator Nicole R. LaBoeuf what her office was doing to coordinate with authorities in the Lowcountry to mitigate the damage from frequent flooding. Mace spoke from the Charleston Battery Seawall, which is undergoing a massive restoration to better protect from storm surge and sea level rise.
Watch the full clip from the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing HERE, read an excerpt of her remarks below:
REP. NANCY MACE: ...I want to echo how important the work that NOAA does, your organization, in regards to flooding, which is why I'm standing in downtown Charleston this afternoon. 40 years ago, flooding in Charleston, where I'm standing today, averaged about two times a year. Today in 2021, 40 years later, we're seeing over 40 incidences of flooding every single year. And it is predicted, by 2045, our city is predicted to be hit by coastal flooding up to 180 times per year.
Additionally, our region has been hit by several major flooding events over the years, including the thousand year flood. Which was in October of 2015, Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Hurricane Irma in 2017, and just last week we had a mere tropical storm, which caused tremendous flooding throughout our great city.
...I've seen the important work that NOAA and your office is doing with the digital coast mapping software. It was something that was very important to me as a state lawmaker and even more important now as a Member of Congress.
...So with the few moments that we have left with my time on the floor, I certainly would love to hear from you, Ms. LaBoeuf, on NOAA and what we can do to help Charleston in our flooding situation here today.
ACTING ASSISTANT ADMIN. NICOLE LABOEUF:Thank you Congresswoman Mace. Charleston is absolutely one of my favorite places in the country, and I share your concern about rising sea levels. In fact, later today, I will be speaking at a media event to release our high tide flooding report for this year.
...And you're absolutely right in Charleston, in Pensacola, we saw more than 14 days of high-tide flooding, whereas just 20 years ago, it was one to two days. And so absolutely we are facing some big challenges. I really appreciate you bringing those up. We do work closely with the Army Corps of Engineers and advise them with regards to sea level rise and inundation, risks, and projections.
We also work closely with the Army Corps of Engineers on Engineering With Nature, which is a program that they lead to better understand the value of nature-based infrastructure to protect our coastlines and to provide critical habitat for commercially and recreationally viable species.
With regard to this budget, we are very keen to make sure that we have the water level sensors in place, that we have high performance computing to be able to predict a sea level rise and storm surge risks for all of our coastal communities.

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