House approves Neugebauer’s windstorm research bill

U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) was relieved to see fellow lawmakers pass the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization of 2015 on Wednesday, bringing back a bill that he authored more than 10 years ago.

“I personally experienced the damaging effects of a windstorm in 1970,” Neugebauer, who is also a senior member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, said. “An F5 tornado ripped through my hometown of Lubbock, Texas, killing 26 and injuring hundreds along with over $1.5 billion in property damage. Research institutions like the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech University, whose origins came about in the wake of this tornado, have better increased our understanding of the effects of windstorms on structures and how we can better mitigate these damages. Breakthroughs from this research, such as the first FEMA-endorsed above-ground storm shelters, are why I first developed this bill back in 2004. While significant progress has been made, more can be done.”

Neugebauer is hopeful that the bill will pass quickly through the new Senate, and work can begin to promote research and minimize the devastating effects caused by windstorms.

“This common sense bill passed the House in the last Congress, but never received a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate,” Neugebauer said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the new Republican-controlled Senate to move this bill into law.”