House passes Garcia’s bipartisan bill on flood forecasting

Politics and government

News release 

Rep. Mike Garcia’s Improving Atmospheric River Forecasts Act passed the House on a bipartisan basis, the congressman’s office announced in a news release.  

This bill was included in H.R. 6093, the Weather Act Reauthorization Act of 2023, which was approved on a 394-19 bipartisan vote. It would improve the forecasting of atmospheric rivers — powerful storms that carry the risk of severe flooding and snowfall that caused substantial damage across California this year, the release said. 

“Our community can experience devastating flooding, wildfires, and droughts all in the same year. And over the past two winters, we’ve experienced a new threat — atmospheric rivers,” Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, said in the release. “Atmospheric rivers have dumped trillions of gallons of water on California, causing flooding and damage to property, and nearly 95% of this water went uncaptured — flowing wastefully out into the ocean. My bill will improve our ability to forecast this dangerous flooding, and in doing so, will enable California to capture trillions of gallons of water necessary for when the next drought hits.” 

He added: “This legislation is a win-win for California, equipping us with the tools to protect our community against severe flooding while better utilizing the precipitation to insulate those same communities against drought. This is a necessary step toward better predicting dangerous weather events and improving our water storage capabilities. I’m proud to see my critical legislation pass the House with broad bipartisan support, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to swiftly pass this critical, bipartisan bill.” 

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