New date set for House hearing on federal disaster response to 2017 hurricanes
SAN JUAN – After the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) reportedly was not able to attend Thursday, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform rescheduled the hearing for next week to examine the U.S. government’s response to the 2017 hurricane season.
The lawmakers said that on Sept. 13, they want to learn what “efforts to aid affected survivors and communities” were carried out in the aftermath of last year’s record storm, as well as to “discuss lessons-learned and additional opportunities to improve federal natural disaster-related programs.”
Saying that, in 2017, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria struck Texas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida, “resulting in the costliest U.S. hurricane season on record,” which affected “nearly eight percent of the entire U.S. population,” they cited top first-response agency officials to testify.
Besides FEMA Administrator William “Brock” Long or an agency designee, either Major Gen. Scott Spellmon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations or a corps designee were also cited.
Dr. Lynn R. Goldman, the Michael and Lori Milken Dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, whose report on Hurricane Maria’s death toll in Puerto Rico, became the basis for the island government’s official toll, was also invited to appear.