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Sen. Murray pledges work to invest in South Park flooding prevention, climate resilience

Patty Murray said she is working to secure $3 million to go toward drainage work and flooding prevention in Seattle's South Park neighborhood.

SEATTLE — United States Sen. Patty Murray met with community members and local officials Thursday to discuss federal investments in climate resilience and progress on preventing flooding in Seattle's South Park neighborhood. 

Murray said she is working to direct $3 million in funding toward drainage improvements and storm water management.

"What I'm focused on is helping the community get resiliency so when they get floods, when they get king tides, when we get those extreme storms, that there is drainage for the water to flow out," Murray said. "That's one of the reasons there were so many problems last December, when the huge storm came through."

South Park has faced routine flooding during heavy storms for years, but December's king tide prompted extensive damage to homes and businesses. 

Resident Robin Schwartz said while her home was spared from extensive damage, many of her neighbors are still living in temporary housing and need assistance. She hopes to see both short-term work on outreach and preparation for next winter's storm; and long-term investments and infrastructure improvements. 

"There's been very many years when folks in this community have not received equitable investments from local governments, and I just hope that everybody outside of this community understands and supports that we are looking for equity in terms of our officials," Schwartz said. 

Murray said she's been hearing from community organizations from years and hopes to continue working to secure federal funding where possible while also collaborating with local and state governments.

"They are very active and they are demanding the right thing, they need help and support here," Murray said. "It's a huge priority, it's why I'm here today. I'm chair of the appropriations committee for the entire country, and this is where I am today because these are people who really do need the help and support of the federal government."

Schwartz is hopeful that the federal investment goes through and hopes to see continued attention and action to the issue.

"I want to see outreach to community to make sure everyone knows what's going on, where this money's coming from, where it could be going, I want to see the city and Seattle Public Utilities consulting experts in flood management to find out the best and most efficient way to keep this neighborhood safe, and also make sure the health of the river is taken into account," Schwartz said.

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