State hosts flood outreach workshop in Lubbock - FOX34 Lubbock

State hosts flood outreach workshop in Lubbock

LUBBOCK, Texas -

 Agents with the Texas Water Development Board visited Lubbock Friday morning to get feedback on how to implement the newest flood legislation.

"In the last legislative session, the Texas Water Development Board was mandated with addressing flooding in Texas with the first ever comprehensive integrative approach," Peter Lake, board chairman for the TWDB, said. "That includes mapping, planning and mitigation. So it's really one of the first in the world at this scale where it's built on science, new flood plan mapping that will drive regional planning up and down the watershed basin."

Citizens from across the water basin can coordinate a strategy on how to mitigate flooding, Lake said.

"That will be the guidebook on how to provide financial assistance from the state to local communities to build the infrastructure to address flooding in their communities," Lake said.

The Legislature also authorized a one-time transfer of $793 million from the "Rainy Day" fund to create a flood funding program to be administered by the TWDB. It is to make the implementation of drainage projects more affordable. That funding will become available in 2020.

Lubbock State Senator Charles Perry, who drafted the flood law, said it is a "bottom's up" approach.

"We don't want to come down from the state top. We want everybody from the local communities that deal with floods and understand water movements better than we could ever do out in Austin to have that input, so that whatever plan we come up with is effective and efficient," Perry said.

The bill is aimed at addressing a statewide need, both coastal and rural. Senator Perry said it is especially important for smaller, less-populated areas.

"Lubbock's in pretty good shape, because it's a big enough city with a big tax base to cover those flooding issues. But really, I think, most importantly, outside the coastal area, those earthen dams for a lot of these rural communities that they don't even know exist. It's the communities down south, and dispersing that water over bigger areas, so they don't get wiped out," Perry said.

the goal is to develop rules based on the feedback gathered from across the state, so leaders who are responsible for flood mitigation will have a uniform plan to look to. It will require collaboration with surrounding neighbors.

The first state flood plan will be due in 2024.

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