Environment & Weather
President Obama approves Branstad’s request for Presidential Disaster Declaration PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 03 June 2013 09:27

Declaration provides federal relief for Iowans impacted by April’s severe weather

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today received word that President Obama approved his request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 19 Iowa counties impacted by April’s severe weather.

The counties included in the declaration are: Appanoose, Cedar, Clinton, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Iowa, Johnson, Keokuk, Lee, Lucas, Marion, Monroe, Muscatine, Ringgold, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren and Wayne.

The Governor sent the request for the declaration on May 22 in response to significant damage that was caused by heavy rains, thunderstorms and flooding in those counties during the period of April 17-30.

The declaration by the President will provide federal funding to the declared counties under the Public Assistance Program. A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance puts into motion long-term federal recovery programs, some of which are matched by state programs, and designed to help public entities and select non-profits. Public Assistance funds may be used for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and may include debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair of damaged public property, loans needed by communities for essential government functions and grants for public schools.

The Governor also received notification that the Presidential Disaster Declaration includes funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state. With this funding, Iowa will be able to minimize the impact of future natural disasters by taking steps now to strengthen existing infrastructure.

This Presidential Disaster Declaration is the 16th Major Presidential Disaster Declaration Iowa has received since March 2007.


Loebsack Welcomes Presidential Disaster Declaration PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Monday, 03 June 2013 09:26

Declaration covers damage from April storms and flooding

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today welcomed the disaster declaration by the President for 19 Iowa counties.  Last week, Loebsack lead the Iowa delegation in urging President Obama to approve Governor Terry Branstad’s request for disaster assistance.  Now that the request has been approved, the counties are now eligible for Public Assistance.

“I am pleased the President took swift action to assist those affected by the severe storms and flooding that occurred this spring,” said Loebsack.  “As Iowans continue to brace for new possible flooding, it is important that our communities have the resources necessary to clean up, repair and replace damaged areas from the April storms and to take necessary steps to prevent further damage.  I will continue to work with Iowa families, businesses, and communities to ensure we recover from the earlier storms and that all necessary steps are taken to prepare for possible future flooding.”

Specifically, the counties of Appanoose, Cedar, Clinton, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Iowa, Johnson, Keokuk, Lee, Lucas, Marion, Monroe, Muscatine, Ringgold, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren and Wayne were included in this declaration.


Joint Information Center Flood Update PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 03 June 2013 09:07

Branstad declares six new counties disaster areas


(DES MOINES) – The office of Gov. Terry  E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, along with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) and other state and federal agencies, are working closely with local emergency management agencies to assist communities in preparing for and responding to flooding.

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Johnston has been activated to enable agencies to coordinate response activities. A Joint Information Center has been established at the SEOC.


Governor Branstad issues disaster proclamation for six counties

Today, Governor Branstad issued a proclamation of disaster emergency for six additional counties in response to the recent storms and flooding.

The Governor declared a disaster in: Buchanan, Clay, Clayton, Greene, Henry and Story counties. In addition, the Governor activated the Iowa Individual Assistance Program for Buchanan, Clay, Henry and Story counties.

The Iowa Individual Assistance Program provides grants up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or a maximum annual income of $39,060, for a family of three.

Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and for the expense of temporary housing. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. The grant application and instructions are available at the “Disaster Assistance” link on the Iowa Department of Human Services website: www.dhs.iowa.gov.  Applications must be received within 45 days of the date of proclamation.

Counties that had previously received Governor’s proclamations are listed below.


State Response Summary

Governor’s Office

o   Disaster Emergency Proclamations

  • Benton
  • Black Hawk*
  • Buchanan*
  • Buena Vista*
  • Butler*
  • Cherokee*
  • Clay*
  • Clayton
  • Delaware*
  • Floyd*
  • Greene
  • Grundy*
  • Henry*
  • Ida
  • Iowa*
  • Jasper*
  • Johnson*
  • Linn*
  • Louisa
  • Lyon
  • Mahaska
  • Marshall*
  • Mitchell*
  • Plymouth*
  • Poweshiek*
  • Sioux*
  • Story*
  • Tama*
  • Wapello*
  • Wright*
    * State Individual Assistance Program


o   The Office of Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds today launched www.IowaFloodCentral.tumblr.com in conjunction with HSEMD to give Iowans a resource for up-to-date Iowa flood information. This is the first Tumblr established and utilized by the Iowa governor’s office. Press releases regarding flood-affected counties will still be posted on the governor’s website (governor.iowa.gov) and information regarding disaster readiness and assistance will still be available through HSEMD’s website (homelandsecurity.iowa.gov). The Iowa Flood Central page will act as an information aggregator of flood-related content from Iowa state agencies, news reports and eyewitness accounts from Iowans wishing to submit pictures and videos of local flooding.

Homeland Security and Emergency Management

o Deployed pump resources to Benton, Butler, Cherokee, Jasper, Louisa, Mahaska, Marshall and Butler counties. 

o Traffic barricades to Buena Vista, Cherokee and Tama.

o Sandbags and poly to Benton, Louisa and Mitchell.

o Bottled water was delivered to New Sharon in Mahaska County and Galva in Ida County. The Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council coordinated the delivery of water to Galva with the Convoy of Hope.

o Sioux City Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)/Swift Water Rescue team is being staged in the Waterloo area so they are able to quickly respond to any needs in eastern Iowa. The Cedar Rapids USAR/Swift Water Rescue team is also on standby for quick response if needed.

o   To view actions that are being taken by state agencies in impacted counties, visit the HSEMD website at www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov.


Iowa National Guard

o The Iowa National Guard has sent two liaison officers to the Johnson County EOC. 

o   Incident Awareness Assessment teams are being sent to affected river basins in southeast Iowa to increase situational awareness.


Department of Transportation

o   Numerous road closures on state and local highways and roads.  For more information on road closures, visit www.511ia.org, or call 5-1-1 or 1-800-288-1047.

The Department is transporting flood-fighting resources to various locations in the state.

o   The Department is providing staging locations for resources.


Department of Human Services

o   The Department is administering the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program.  http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/Consumers/Assistance_Programs/CashAssistance/DisasterAssistance/StormHelp.html

Department of Natural Resources

o   Information on private wells during times of flooding can be found at http://www.iowadnr.gov/InsideDNR/RegulatoryWater/PrivateWellProgram.aspx

o   The Department is actively monitoring water treatment and sewage treatment facilities.

o   Field staff is assisting in numerous counties.

Department of Public Health

o   The Department has established a website addressing health issues during flooding at http://www.idph.state.ia.us/EmergencyResponse/Flooding

Department of Corrections

o   The Department has provided inmate sandbagging assistance out of the Iowa Medical Classification Center.

o   Inmates will provide debris removal assistance in the City of Kellogg.


Department of Public Safety

o   The State Fire Marshal is providing building inspectors in Cherokee.

For more information 






Soy Checkoff Salutes New York City Efforts to Go Green PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by United Soybean Board   
Friday, 31 May 2013 13:18

United Soybean Board farmer-leaders honor use of biodiesel and other soy products

ST. LOUIS (May 31, 2013) – With the help of U.S. soy, New York City is learning that it’s actually pretty easy to be green with products such as soy-backed carpeting and synthetic grass.


In addition, New York’s greenhouse-gas-reduction strategy includes the use of cleaner-burning biodiesel in the ports of New York and New Jersey and requirements for the use of Bioheat®, a blend of biodiesel with traditional heating oil.


“It’s a good thing for U.S. soybean farmers to have New York City asking for and using our products, the first being biodiesel, followed by Bioheat®and now soy-based carpet-backing,” says Lewis Bainbridge, a soybean farmer and United Soybean Board (USB) secretary from Ethan, S.D. “It speaks volumes about the quality of soybeans produced in the U.S. for food, feed, fuel and industrial products.”


Bainbridge recently joined fellow soy checkoff farmer-leader Sharon Covert, a farmer from Tiskilwa, Ill., in recognizing New York sites that use biobased products. One stop was an Applebee’s restaurant in the Harlem neighborhood, where the franchise owner had installed carpeting with soy-based backing throughout the restaurant. USB also acknowledged the installment of AstroTurf® with soy-based backing in Battery Park, just two blocks from the nearly complete One World Trade Center monument at ground zero.


“As U.S. soybean farmers, we are excited to support many products that bring benefits to New York City residents,” adds Covert, who also serves as USB Customer Focus Action Team chair. “The soy checkoff is pleased that state-of-the-art products, such as biodiesel, carpet and AstroTurf, use soy as a renewable ingredient for sustainability.”


The soy checkoff invests in research, development and commercialization of new products that contain U.S. soy. Thanks in part to this relationship, 45 new soy-based products hit the market last year.


The 69 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org
Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/UnitedSoybeanBoard
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/unitedsoy
View our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/UnitedSoybeanBoard


Texas Wing personnel still on duty in tornado-ravaged Oklahoma PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Steve Cox   
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:41
CAP's Oklahoma Tornadoes Response

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. – Dozens of personnel from Civil Air Patrol’s Texas Wing remain on duty in Moore, Okla., performing photo damage assessment of homes, public buildings and businesses more than a week after a twister ripped through the town of about 45,000 residents.

“Texas Wing has been absolutely monumental in us completing the mission that FEMA has given us,” said Capt. Rick Rutledge, public affairs officer for CAP’s Oklahoma Wing. “They were able to send us members almost immediately after the tornado struck. We’ve had Texas Wing boots on the ground literally in less than 24 hours.”

The EF-5 twister mowed its destructive path through Moore May 20, killing seven students when it demolished Plaza Towers Elementary School. Moore is located in the central part of the state and is considered part of Oklahoma City’s metropolitan area. The area is known as “Tornado Alley.”

CAP’s role in the recovery phase involves detailing the destruction from both ground and air for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We’re literally having to send teams to each and every house and business that’s been damaged. From the air side, we’ve been able to provide FEMA with high-definition photographs for the entire 17-mile track of the tornado,” Rutledge said.

An estimated 80 CAP air and ground team members — many of them teenage cadets — from Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Arkansas are augmenting 450 FEMA personnel who, by Memorial Day, had delivered 43,000 meals and 150,000 liters of water, along with thousands of cots, blankets and other comfort items. FEMA officials say 4,200 people have applied for disaster assistance. The agency has approved an estimated $3.4 million in emergency cash payments to victims of the tornado.

“Texas Wing is honored to have the opportunity to serve in the support mission for the Moore, Okla., tornado,” said Col. Brooks Cima, Texas Wing commander.

Cima says approximately 30 Texas Wing members are in Oklahoma, providing air and ground communications and mission support in addition to performing damage assessment. She said CAP wings have a long tradition of supporting each other during emergencies.

“Oklahoma Wing has supported Texas when we’ve suffered from hurricanes,” said Cima. “We owe them that same loyalty.”

President Barack Obama toured the town over the Memorial Day Weekend to offer encouragement to Moore’s citizens, thank first responders, survey the damage, and assure state and local officials that federal aid would be swift and long-term.

Moore previously suffered extensive damage from tornados on Oct. 4, 1998; May 3, 1999, May 8, 2003; and May 10, 2012. The 1999 twister was at the time considered the costliest in U.S. history.

Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization chartered by Congress in 1941 with a 501(c)3 designation and pre-dates the Air Force. CAP consists of 61,000 unpaid professional members nationwide, and operates a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 26,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP is a force multiplier to the Air Force CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 71 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans.

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