Environment & Weather
Area Program to be offered on Native Iowa Plants and Trees PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 09 May 2013 15:00

If you have ever wanted to learn more about Iowa’s native trees, grasses and wildflowers, you’ll have a chance to do so in a series of classes being offered in the area this spring and summer. Trees Forever will be offering its popular Stewards of the Beautiful Land program in Scott County this year.

Trees Forever’s Stewards of the Beautiful Land program is designed to educate participants about the role and use of native trees, grasses and wildflowers in community, rural and home landscaping projects. Trees Forever staff will lead four different, monthly class sessions from June through September. Other participating partners include the Scott County Conservation Board, Scott County Extension & Outreach, the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Nahant Marsh. The first class starts June 11.

The Stewards of the Beautiful Land program will cover topics such as:
• Native plant identification
• Benefits and use of native plant species
• Design principles
• Planting practices
• Establishment and maintenance techniques
• Project Funding

In addition, class members will also help plan and plant a small local project using native plants.

The four-part series of classes begins on Tuesday, June 11, at the Nahant Marsh, 4220 Wapello Avenue. Subsequent classes will be held at other locations around Scott County. Participants should plan to travel to all four classes for the entire educational experience. Classes will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., and include classroom-style instruction as well as outdoor field study.

There is no cost to participate in the Stewards of the Beautiful Land program, but space is limited. No prior experience with or knowledge of native trees and plants is necessary, only a commitment to actively participate in the class series and the planting project.

To register for Trees Forever’s 2013 Stewards of the Beautiful Land program, or to get more information, visit the events calendar at www.treesforever.org. You can also contact Dustin Hinrichs at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 319-373-0650 ext. 124, or Mark Pingenot at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 319-560-9079, for more information. The deadline for registration is May 31.

Trees Forever is an Iowa-based nonprofit environmental organization focused on community tree planting, water quality initiatives, and roadway and trail enhancements. The Stewards of the Beautiful Land program is funded by the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund (www.iowalivingroadway.com).

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Loebsack Welcomes Gov. Branstad’s Disaster Declaration PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Joe Hand   
Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:19

15 additional counties affected by strong storms and flooding now available for state assistance

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after Governor Branstad issued a disaster declaration for additional counties in Iowa.  People who qualify in Appanoose, Clinton, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lucas, Marion, Monroe, Ringgold, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren and Wayne Counties are now able to apply for state grants to help with home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and for the expense of temporary housing.  Previously, disaster declarations were made for Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Lee, Mahaska, Muscatine, Scott and Washington Counties.

“I am pleased with the Governor’s actions to make assistance available to those who have seen damage from the recent storms and flooding. I will continue work with local communities and the State to ensure those with significant property damage get the help they need.”

For more information, Iowans should visit www.dhs.iowa.gov and click on the Disaster Assistance link.

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Governor Branstad issues disaster proclamation for 15 counties PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 15:54
(DES MOINES) – Governor Terry E. Branstad today issued a third proclamation of disaster emergency in response to recent storms and flooding in south and southeast Iowa.

Fifteen counties are included in this proclamation:  Appanoose, Clinton, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lucas, Marion, Monroe, Ringgold, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren and Wayne.

Governor Branstad had issued two proclamations in April covering eight other counties as a result of a storm system that came through the state on April 17: Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Lee, Mahaska, Muscatine, Scott and Washington. Those proclamations activated the Iowa Individual Assistance Program for those counties, which provides grants for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

This latest proclamation of disaster emergency also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Program, and in addition authorizes the use and deployment of state resources to those 15 counties. This proclamation contains provisions to assist the Iowa Department of Transportation in requesting federal emergency relief funding for the repair or reconstruction of federal highways and bridges throughout the impacted counties.

In addition, FEMA will begin conducting damage assessments jointly with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division and local officials in 19 counties impacted by April 17 storms and flooding. Results of these damage assessments could be used to determine if a request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration is warranted. Damage assessments will be conducted in the following counties: Appanoose, Cedar, Clinton, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Iowa, Johnson, Keokuk, Lee, Lucas, Marion, Monroe, Muscatine, Ringgold, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren and Wayne.

The Iowa Individual Assistance Program provides grants of up to $5,000 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<http://www.dhs.iowa.gov/>.

The proclamation can be viewed at www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov<http://www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov>.

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Iowa receives Presidential Disaster Declaration PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Office of the Governor of Iowa   
Monday, 06 May 2013 15:01

(DES MOINES) – Today, Gov. Terry E. Branstad received word that a Presidential Disaster Declaration has been issued for five Iowa counties. The five counties included in the declaration are Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux.

The Governor sent the request for the declaration on Friday, April 26, in response to severe weather which occurred April 9-11, 2013.  The severe weather produced damaging winds, heavy rains, thunderstorms, freezing rain, ice and snow that caused damage to utility lines, poles, trees and vegetation.

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 15th Major Presidential Disaster Declaration Iowa has received since March 2007.

The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division leads, coordinates and supports homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens.

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USGS Continues to Provide Critical Flood Information PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Jon Nania   
Friday, 03 May 2013 14:16

As lingering spring rains soak eastern Iowa, crews from the U.S. Geological Survey continue efforts to make sure the streamgaging network is providing basic scientific information needed by water-resource managers and the community.

"The accurate flow data from the USGS is an essential part of NWS flood forecasts and warnings," said Jeff Zogg, NWS Senior Service Hydrologist. "Even small errors can negatively impact flood forecasts."

The National Weather Service uses USGS streamgaging information for flood forecasting.  When flooding is frequent, the NWS stays in constant contact with the USGS. The USGS streamgaging network is the principal source of data used by the NWS to develop flood forecasts because of the stage and discharge information they provide.

The USGS operates 150 gages in Iowa that collect both stage and discharge information.

A reliable flood forecast, and subsequent warnings, requires a current source of stage, discharge, and precipitation data. NWS flood forecasts are based on river models that provide estimates of how a river will respond to rainfall. River stage and discharge data provided by USGS gaging stations are essential components of these river models and flood forecasts.

"The USGS places the utmost importance on the high quality and consistency of its streamgage network," said Kevin Richards, Director of the USGS Iowa Water Science Center. "Streamflow information is used in countless ways by government agencies, private industries, and the general public."

In addition to routine discharge measurements made at USGS streamgages, the USGS made 34 additional flood measurements once the rivers started rising in mid-April. With the forecasts calling for additional rain and snow over the next week, USGS scientists will be making extra measurements and checking equipment to assure the information is available for decision makers.

The real-time streamgaging information is available on the USGS Iowa website. Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGSWaterWatchwebsite.

 
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