Lawmakers on each side of the Capitol are becoming increasingly concerned about the risks that flooding poses to military infrastructure in light of more frequent occurrences of extreme weather. … The House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee highlighted its concern about the impacts of flooding on coastal military facilities as well as the roads and infrastructure needed to access installations, in the report accompanying the fiscal 2019 military construction-VA spending bill the full committee approved earlier this month. The panel directs DOD to work with the Department of Transportation to prioritize projects under the Defense Access Roads program for communities that have experienced either storm surge flooding or non-storm surge flooding. The panel also directs DOD to use its Screening Level Vulnerability Assessment Survey of installations, begun in January, and similar reports by the Government Accountability Office to mitigate the effects of flooding on roads and other infrastructure that are critical for military operations. … Last month, Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced legislation to protect military bases from flooding by making sure facility planners are aware of recurrent flood risks in certain areas and consider those risks when building or designing facilities. S. 2766 would require DOD to disclose when a proposed military construction project will be sited within a 100-year floodplain, and to exceed the baseline elevation of the 100-year floodplain when designing a facility to mitigate future flood risk. “Extreme weather is becoming more frequent and severe. And these are facts that our military can’t afford to ignore,” Schatz, ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, said in a news release.
Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Martinez