From the Office of State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2007
CONTACT: Melissa del Bosque
(512) 463-0120, cell (512) 947-4046

Senator Hinojosa Requests Interim Study on South Texas Levees

AUSTIN -- Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa has requested that the Texas Legislature examine solutions to fix the levee system in South Texas before a catastrophic flooding event occurs along the Texas-Mexico border.

"We saw the flood waters take New Orleans and history tells us that it is only a matter of time before we get hit," said Senator Juan Hinojosa. "We need to tackle the problem immediately so that we are not left with huge economic and human losses because of our failing levee system."

The U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission have already decertified the Rio Grande levees because they were incapable of withstanding a major flooding event.

Now, FEMA will release a preliminary flood insurance rate map in December that will more than likely result in federally-backed mortgage lenders requiring Rio Grande Valley residents to buy flood insurance for their homes and businesses.

In a letter to Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Senator Hinojosa emphasized the importance of the issue for South Texas and suggested that the Senate study funding and construction options to rebuild the levee system.

In the next few months, the Lt. Governor will announce the Texas Senate's interim study charges. These major state policy issues will be examined in a series of hearings in preparation for the next legislative session in January 2009.

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