House Members Sign Letter Regarding the Susquehanna River Basin's Flood Forecast and Warning System

Mar 9, 2011
Press Release


WASHINGTON– In a letter addressed to  U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Dr. Jane Lubchenco, a  bipartisan collection of ten members of Congress spanning three states have sent a formal request to be made aware of updates to the funding of the Susquehanna River Basin’s Flood Forecast and Warning System.

In a letter penned by Representative Lou Barletta, and co-signed by Pennsylvania Representatives Tom Marino, Glenn “GT” Thompson, Jim Gerlach, Todd Platts and Tim Holden, the letter notes “the Flood Forecast and Warning System is, at its core, a cost-effective measure that has and will save lives.”

“Flood prevention stands as one of the most basic and important tenets of public safety in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” Barletta said. “In a situation where seconds count, the Susquehanna Flood Forecast and Warning System can mean the difference between prevention and devastation.

“At a time when our government is being forced to tighten its belt, the Susquehanna Flood Forecast and Warning System serves as a means of protecting our citizens, our communities and our homes from the dangers of flood damage in a cost-effective way,” Barletta continued.

“The Susquehanna River Basin is one of the most flood-prone areas in the entire country, and the public safety of our local residents and businesses has depended on the Susquehanna River Basin Flood Forecast and Warning System,” Representative Thompson said. “Despite these tough fiscal times, this investment has been a wise use of taxpayer dollars and critically important in providing timely and accurate flood forecasts for our local communities.”

“Now more than ever, Congress and federal agencies have the duty to take a very close look at where and how taxpayer funds are being spent,” Representative Marino said. “There are many programs, like the Flood Forecast and Warning System, that are critical to protect the health and safety of many Americans. I am confident that the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Congress and the Administration can work together to assure that a solution is reached to provide important early detection and advanced flood warnings to the people living in the Susquehanna River Basin.”

“The Susquehanna River Flood Forecasting and Warning System enables flood-prone communities in my district and throughout the watershed to more accurately predict and respond to potentially-devastating flooding events,” Representative Holden said. “This cost-effective and reliable system of stream and precipitation gages provides accurate river monitoring data to help ensure the health and safety of basin residents.  I applaud the efforts of my colleagues to call NOAA’s attention to the importance of investing in and maintaining this critical system.

In addition to the aforementioned members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, the letter addressed to Dr. Jane Lubchenco, U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, has also been signed by Representatives Roscoe Barlett (R-MD), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and C.A. Dutch Ruppersburger (D-MD).