Commission Agenda Item No. 11
Presenter: Jessica Davisson

Impacts of the Memorial Day Flooding and Other Events
August 20, 2015

I.             Executive Summary:  State Parks and Infrastructure staff will provide the Commission with a brief overview of the operational and business impacts of the severe weather and flooding that has occurred around the state since May 2015. The purpose of this status update is to cover areas of impact, emergency response, damage assessments, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordination.

II.          Discussion:  At the beginning of May, more than 35 percent of the state was in some form of drought – moderate, severe, extreme, or exceptional. A year ago, more than 60 percent of the state was in some form of drought. In May, the volume of much needed rain substantially increased. Preceded by more than a week of extremely heavy rainfall, a slow-moving storm system dropped tremendous precipitation across much of Texas and Oklahoma during the Memorial Day weekend, triggering record-breaking floods. These events officially marked the end of a five-year drought in Texas, but not without cost. Several park sites remain closed waiting for flood waters to recede so that repairs and cleanup can be completed to make areas safe for public use. Support strike teams have been established to organize and systematically assess impacts across the park system; provide some analysis of information to base recovery priority decisions, and establish a process of reporting to support potential cost reimbursement from FEMA.