- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia’s House Speaker is urging lawmakers after last month’s deadly flooding to revisit a flood protection plan that had been largely overlooked by legislators for more than a decade.

House Speaker Tim Armstead said in a statement Tuesday that he wants the 2004 West Virginia Statewide Flood Protection Plan to be studied in legislative interim committee meetings so that lawmakers can find ways to avoid a repeat of the recent disaster that killed at least 23 people and devastated parts of a dozen counties, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported (https://bit.ly/29u9Y9A).

Armstead’s statement came after the Gazette-Mail published an article Sunday that detailed how a multi-agency task force’s recommendations for a flood protection plan had not been acted upon ever since the plan was released in December 2004.

“I believe, given recent events, that it would be prudent for us to bring this plan back before lawmakers for discussion and review to see what aspects of the plan have been implemented and what can be done going forward,” Armstead said.

The plan included dozens of specific proposals. It includes a call for better management of flood-plain construction, improved flood warnings, tougher building codes, new rules for flood insurance and better public education efforts, among other recommendations.

“Even implementing all of the recommendations provided in this plan will not completely eliminate the risk of flooding,” the report concluded. “However, implementing the recommendations included in this plan will reduce the flood-related risks to lives and properties in West Virginia.”

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.


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