Below is a copy of the letter:
Washington, DC 20310
Dear Dr. Stockton:
VIA E-Mail: paul.stocktonosd.mil
Thank you for your letter of May 6, 2011. I ask that you reconsider your determination and approve funding under Title 32 USC 502(f) of the Louisiana National Guard in support of the response to record water levels in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers. This letter demonstrates that the response to the high water by the Federal Government necessitates the mobilization of the National Guard; therefore, the mobilization should be funded by the Federal Government.
The Morganza Spillway control system is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to control water levels on the largest federal waterway in the United States. The Corps of Engineers is considering whether to open the Morganza Spillway in the next day or two. This has the potential to cause the destruction of homes, farms, and businesses in the Atchafalaya Basin, necessitating a significant evacuation, possible search and rescue operations, and debris removal operations. The floodway runs under Interstate 10. Waterborne debris may endanger the bridge on this federal highway, which is the principal southern east-west system of commerce between California and Florida. Many of the missions of the Louisiana National Guard relate to the impending decision whether to open the Morganza Spillway control system. Specifically, the missions are responsive to a potential federal decision to open a federal flood control structure on a federal waterway to protect a federal levee system and interstate commerce on the river.
Furthermore, the Corps of Engineers has requested the support of the National Guard for their missions. At the time of this letter, the National Guard is transporting significant amounts of levee reinforcement and shoring material at the request of the Corps of Engineers. At the request of Corps officials in the Vicksburg and New Orleans District Offices, the National Guard is providing aviation assets so the Corps can monitor and inspect levee conditions from the air and for command and control purposes. Also at the request of the Corps, eleven Guard vehicles are transporting containers filled with supplies to Morgan City, Louisiana. The Corps is not the only federal agency that will rely heavily on the National Guard in accomplishing its mission. FEMA routinely uses the National Guard for commodity distribution, command and control, and security in emergencies. FEMA Region 6 supports federal funding of the National Guard in this emergency because of its reliance on Guard capabilities.