WASHINGTON, DC (WMBF) – Congressman Tom Rice announced that he and his staff have worked to secure assistance for flood relief in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which will include money for beachfront renourishment.
"Over the past two months, my staff and I have worked tirelessly with the House Appropriations Committee to secure assistance for flood relief, and I am pleased to say that our efforts, along with the entire South Carolina delegation, have paid off," Rep. Rice states.
Rep. Rice, who represents South Carolina's 7th District, released a statement Wednesday explaining that the act, which will be voted on by the House of Representatives on Friday, includes provisions requiring the federal government to provide relief for major disaster declarations, including Hurricane Joaquin.
"The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 provides substantial resources for South Carolina. Funding can be used to rebuild homes and assist farmers in recovery efforts upon request from Governor Haley. We have also positioned ourselves well for beachfront renourishment. Additional money was included in the Army Corps' budget for construction activity," Rep. Rice states.
The bill includes three accounts which could provide up to $350 million in total unobligated funds for South Carolina to compete for beach renourishment, according to Rep. Rice's office. The Flood and Storm Damage Reduction account could provide up to $185 million, the Flood Control account could provide as much as $125 million, and the Shore Protection account may provide $40 million.
The October event, described as a "1,000-year flood," caused significant damage across the state, including dozens of failed dams, thousands of damaged and destroyed homes, hundreds of road closures, devastated crops, debilitated infrastructure, shuttered businesses and homes, and depleted beachfronts, according to Rep. Rice's statement.
Rep. Rice received praise from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce for his efforts to secure funding in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016.
"We applaud Congressman Tom Rice and the other members of the U.S. House of Representatives for introducing the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 which includes significant provisions for beachfront renourishment," states MBACOC President and CEO Brad Dean. "While Hurricane Joaquin was minimally disruptive to the Myrtle Beach area economy, our beach infrastructure was impacted and is in need of renourishment. The Myrtle Beach area is ready and eager to begin the beachfront repair process if the U.S. House of Representatives vote to approve the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 on Friday, Dec. 18."
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a Short-Term Continuing Resolution extended appropriations for government operations at existing funding levels through December 22, and the House is scheduled to vote on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 on Friday.