Bilirakis Promotes Flooding Solution for Tampa Bay
Tropical Storm Hermine caused significant destruction throughout the Tampa Bay area. Official estimates indicate that the storm left almost $89 million in damages throughout Pasco County alone. After personally visiting flooded areas throughout my District, I contacted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Commander Kirk to ask that their agency serve as a resource in helping to craft a workable solution to provide relief. It is important that leaders at the federal, state and local levels work together to find solutions.
"I’ve already been successful in helping Pasco County receive federal dollars from the Corps to help with infrastructure improvements; however, more must be done to assist homeowners as they combat repetitive flooding," said Congressman Bilirakis. "Some of the worst areas hit were along the Anclote River Basin and the Pithlachascotee River. Unfortunately, these areas have been impacted on multiple occasions by recent flooding, both in major and minor storms."
One solution that has emerged is the dredging of both rivers to improve flow and provide long term relief for homeowners. I asked Commander Kirk to thoroughly explore this option. I also expressed to Commander Kirk that recent storms serve as a reminder that Pasco County does not have sufficient west/east bound roadways to safely evacuate residents in the event of an emergency. As such, I renewed my call for the Corps to expedite and approve the Ridge Road permit application, in the interest of public safety.