Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08)
February 27, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08)’s amendment to the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act passed the House. The amendment requires the Government Accountability Office to study how preserving wilderness lands can help reduce flood risks in residential areas. An excerpt of her speech is below. To watch her full floor speech, click here.
Rep. Schrier said: “Over the past week, Washington State has experienced severe winter storms. The Governor of Washington state recently issued an emergency proclamation for 25 counties due to flooding and winter weather; three of those counties, Kittitas, King and Pierce are located in the 8th Congressional District;
In my district, these storms largely took the form of excessive rain and flooding.
They caused landslides on a highway that cut off access to the Greenwater community and Crystal Mountain– Washington’s largest ski area. Crystal was closed for 4 days, including over the typically busy weekend period.
In Issaquah, down the road from one of my district offices, the Eastside Fire Department evacuated apartment buildings that are in proximity to a creek that had breached it banks and had water rushing through the parking lot.
In Fall City, a town that has two roads in and out, there is a slow-moving landslide underneath one of these roads and the road has started to separate. Residents have been encouraged to evacuate so they are not at risk of being isolated.
As we continue to confront climate change, we need to holistically consider our approaches to wilderness and public lands. Preservation of our public lands is just one tool at our disposal to help mitigate the impacts of flooding. We need to let nature do what nature does best: soak up water and prevent land from moving and turning into a landslide or mudslide during a flooding event.”
Photo on Floor Chart from City of Issaquah Twitter account.