Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives passed legislation sponsored by U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) that seeks to combat flood damage caused by ice jams.

The measure, an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act (H.R. 5303), would allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to pursue new projects and technologies that prevent and mitigate flood damages associated with ice jams.

Ice jams occur when chunks of ice in a river are blocked by obstructions – a bridge, rocks, logs, etc. – and build up to form an ice dam. When this occurs, flooding can be caused upstream from the blockage, and again downstream when the ice finally breaks up.

“Each year, flooding that results from the pile up of frozen ice in rivers across the U.S. costs our economy millions of dollars,” said Congresswoman Meng. “During my time in the New York State Assembly, I can remember hearing horrible stories from my colleagues in upstate New York and wondering what more could be done to prepare for these events. It is critical that we do more to combat the hardships that ice jam flooding causes to American communities each year, and I thank my colleagues for supporting this amendment that seeks to do just that.”

“This important amendment will help mitigate the damage done to the North Country due to ice jams, and I commend my colleagues for supporting its passage,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Flooding that results from these ice jams can cause damage to our communities and threaten the safety of families who live near water. By preventing these ice jams we can better protect the safety of North Country families and prevent unnecessary destruction. Thank you to Congresswoman Meng for her work on this issue.”

The Meng–Stefanik amendment passed unanimously by voice vote.