Now That God Hath Smitten Texas, Will The GOP Beg For Federal Funding?

“Thus saith the LORD; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl.” – Jeremiah 47:2

As the flood waters in Texas cause unimaginable chaos and destruction, the failures of the state and its Republican policies trickles down to the inhabitants of its poorly maintained cities. Twenty four counties are under a state of emergency, at least 17 are dead and 10 are missing.

As the small rivers that run through Houston spill over their banks and into neighborhoods, residents are forced to live the reality that Republican policies that favor the bank accounts of the wealthy and the coffers of big business aren’t doing squat to safeguard their interests.

Flooding, as with all natural disasters, is unpredictable and cruel. That doesn’t mean that some of the effects of flooding can’t be mitigated with proper planning and infrastructure, two things Texas fails miserably at.

In 2012, The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Houston a deplorable C- average grade for its infrastructure. While C averages may be good enough to send a Texan to the White House, the city’s population, fourth largest in the nation, deserves better.

A spokesman for the ASCE said of the city’s outdated infrastructure:

“A low grade does not mean it is unsafe, but rather, that it is woefully outdated and has no plan in place.”

It would appear with the events of the past week that “woefully outdated” with “no plan in place” has officially passed the benchmark to be considered unsafe.

Texas Republicans, it seems, have a fairly short memory. On Memorial Day in 1981, the Shoal Creek in Austin surged from its typical flow of 90 gallons per minute to six million gallons per minute, devastating the city and leaving 13 dead. Still little to nothing has been done to secure the Texas floodplains, leaving Texans vulnerable to disaster.

The problem starts at the state level, where lawmakers have adopted a “pass the buck” mentality, leaving cities and towns already struggling with budget issues to fend for themselves. While the state requires cities and towns to meet minimum requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program, they do NOT require them to enroll in the FEMA program. Texas ranks second only to Florida in flood insurance claims.

The real issue is that Texas has zero funding available to municipalities for flood-control infrastructure and there is no floodplain management plan in place.

While Texas struggles and the rest of the country rallies around them in support, let’s not forget that much of the disaster could have been prevented.

President Obama plans to invade Texas…With temporary housing, bottled water, clean blankets and cash.

The President, possibly the most hated person in Texas, has spoken with Governor Gregg Abbott, pledging whatever support Texas needs to overcome the floods. Typical responses from the Obama administration’s fast-acting FEMA include deployment of the full-force of the agency’s relief and recovery team and whatever financial assistance the state will need to get back on its feet.

Some would call that a helping hand up, while other may point out the lack of preparation in Texas as lazy and irresponsible. It doesn’t matter; 0ur President has proven time and time again that he will be there to help those in need.

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