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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-856

======================================================================



 
   COMMEMORATING THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OKEECHOBEE HURRICANE OF 
         SEPTEMBER 1928 AND ITS ASSOCIATED TRAGIC LOSS OF LIFE

                                _______
                                

 September 16, 2008.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Oberstar, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                      [To accompany H. Res. 1376]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the resolution (H. Res. 1376) commemorating the 
80th anniversary of the Okeechobee Hurricane of September 1928 
and its associated tragic loss of life, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend 
that the resolution as amended be agreed to.
  The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the 
following:

That the House of Representatives--
          (1) memorializes the tragic loss of approximately 3,000 lives 
        in the United States and its territories due to the Okeechobee 
        Hurricane of 1928;
          (2) recognizes the enduring importance of hurricane 
        preparedness measures, enhanced evacuation, emergency plans, 
        and disaster response training especially in economically 
        disadvantaged communities to prevent a disproportionate impact 
        of natural disasters and disparities in disaster response;
          (3) recognizes the role of relevant Federal agencies, 
        research institutes, universities, and disaster response 
        organizations in providing intensity forecasting, long-range 
        projections of hurricane activity, emergency management, and 
        hurricane and storm damage reduction to better prepare for, 
        respond to, and mitigate the extensive loss of life and 
        devastating impacts of hurricanes and storms;
          (4) fully supports initiatives to enhance our understanding 
        of storm impacts on physical structures, including water 
        management systems and other infrastructure that may be 
        vulnerable to the most intense of storms;
          (5) urges the State of Florida and local governments to--
                  (A) commemorate and memorialize the 80th anniversary 
                of the Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928 and its associated 
                tragic loss of approximately 3,000 lives in the United 
                States and its territories; and
                  (B) appropriately recognize mass graves of the 
                victims of the Okeechobee Hurricane;
          (6) urges the Federal government, and State and local 
        governments, to--
                  (A) take appropriate actions to encourage hurricane 
                and disaster preparedness, education, response, and 
                mitigation; and
                  (B) support programs and initiatives that promote 
                disaster preparedness, education, response, and 
                mitigation especially in economically disadvantaged and 
                migrant communities;
          (7) commends the Army Corps of Engineers for its ongoing 
        rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike and encourages 
        continued collaboration among Federal, State, and local 
        governments toward expeditious completion of the rehabilitation 
        effort; and
          (8) recommits itself to hurricane preparedness, safety 
        education, response, and mitigation for all communities in the 
        110th Congress.

  Amend the preamble to read as follows:

Whereas the Okeechobee Hurricane, also known as Hurricane San Felipe 
Segundo, formed in the Atlantic Ocean, traveled through the Caribbean Sea, 
and up the eastern coast of the United States between September 10 and 
September 20, 1928;

Whereas on September 16, 1928, the Okeechobee Hurricane made landfall in 
the continental United States at Palm Beach County, Florida, and proceeded 
north over Lake Okeechobee, after which it decreased steadily in intensity 
before dying in Ontario, Canada;

Whereas the Okeechobee Hurricane attained the highest classification of 
Category 5 for tropical cyclone intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane 
Scale, with winds exceeding 160 miles per hour;

Whereas the Okeechobee Hurricane is officially recognized by the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the second deadliest hurricane on 
record in United States history, exacting the tragic loss of approximately 
3,000 lives in the United States and its territories;

Whereas approximately 75 percent of fatalities from the Okeechobee 
Hurricane in the United States were migrant farm workers, the vast majority 
of which were African-American;

Whereas the extensive impact of the Okeechobee Hurricane on African-
American migrant workers in southern and central Florida was memorialized 
in the famous 1937 literary work of Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were 
Watching God;

Whereas the Okeechobee Hurricane exacted horrendous damage valued at over 
$16,000,000,000, adjusted for inflation, to the infrastructure and towns of 
western Palm Beach County alone;

Whereas many of those killed by the Okeechobee Hurricane in southern 
Florida were buried in segregated mass graves, such as the more than 670 
African-American victims in a mass grave in West Palm Beach;

Whereas the Nation and the State of Florida have taken steps to respond to 
the Okeechobee Hurricane and other storm events with the construction of 
storm damage reduction projects to mitigate the loss of life and property;

Whereas the Herbert Hoover Dike's system surrounding Lake Okeechobee 
consists of 143 miles of levee with 19 culverts, hurricane gates, and other 
water control structures that provide flood and storm damage reduction and 
other water control benefits;

Whereas on November 2, 2007, the Army Corps of Engineers Dam Safety Action 
Classification External Peer Review Panel designated the Herbert Hoover 
Dike with Class I designation of ``urgent and compelling,'' the highest 
risk category;

Whereas a breach of the Herbert Hoover Dike or similarly designated 
structures throughout the Nation could potentially cause catastrophic loss 
of life and poses grave economic and environmental consequences to the 
surrounding communities; and

Whereas economically disadvantaged and migrant communities are at increased 
risk for extensive damage and loss of life associated with natural 
disasters: Now, therefore, be it

                       PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION

    House Resolution 1376, as amended, commemorates the 80th 
anniversary of the Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928, recognizes the 
tragic loss of life which resulted from the hurricane, and 
urges the Federal Government and State and local governments to 
take appropriate actions to encourage hurricane and disaster 
preparedness, education, response, and mitigation.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Okeechobee Hurricane, also known as the Hurricane San 
Felipe Segundo, traveled across the Atlantic Ocean from 
September 10-20, 1928, making landfall in the United States in 
Palm Beach County, Florida, on September 16, 1928. The 
Okeechobee Hurricane is the second deadliest hurricane in 
history, killing more than 4,000 people in the United States 
and the Caribbean.
    Many people who died in the Okeechobee Hurricane died as a 
result of the storm's effect on Lake Okeechobee overwhelming 
the small dike that surrounded the lake and flooding hundreds 
of acres. After the hurricane, a series of larger dikes were 
built around the lake. The Herbert Hoover Dike was the 
culmination of large dike construction around Lake Okeechobee 
and was completed in the 1960s. The Herbert Hoover Dike has 
fallen into disrepair and is now being rehabilitated.

                       SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION

    House Resolution 1376, as amended, commemorates the 80th 
anniversary of the Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928, recognizes the 
tragic loss of life which resulted from the hurricane, and 
urges the Federal Government and State and local governments to 
take appropriate actions to encourage hurricane and disaster 
preparedness, education, response, and mitigation.

            LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On July 24, 2008, Representative Alcee L. Hastings 
introduced H. Res. 1376.
    On July 31, 2008, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session to consider H. Res. 1376. 
The Committee adopted an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute to H. Res. 1376 by voice vote. The Committee ordered 
H. Res. 1376, as amended, reported favorably to the House by 
voice vote with a quorum present.

                              RECORD VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each recorded vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. There 
were no recorded votes taken in connection with consideration 
of H. Res. 1376 or ordering the resolution reported. A motion 
to order House Resolution 1376, as amended, reported favorably 
to the House was agreed to by voice vote with a quorum present.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          COST OF LEGISLATION

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(d)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H. Res. 1376 
is a House resolution and therefore does not have the force of 
law. As such, there is no cost associated with this legislation 
for fiscal year 2008, or for any fiscal year thereafter.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
advises that the resolution contains no measure that authorizes 
funding, so no comparison of the total estimated funding level 
for the relevant programs to the appropriate levels under 
current law is required.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee advises that the resolution contains no measure that 
authorizes funding, so no statement of general performance 
goals and objectives for any measure that authorizes funding is 
required.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee advises that the resolution contains no measure that 
authorizes funding, so no cost estimate nor comparison for any 
measure that authorizes funding is required.

                     COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XXI

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, H. Res. 1376 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI 
of the Rules of the House of Representatives.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    With respect to clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, H. Res. 1376 is a resolution 
of the House of Representatives and therefore does not have the 
force of law. As such, clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII does not 
apply.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    H. Res. 1376 contains no federal mandates.

                        PREEMPTION CLARIFICATION

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt State, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H. Res. 1376 does not 
preempt any State, local, or tribal law.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

                APPLICABILITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 
104-1).

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H. Res. 1376 makes no changes in existing law.