Environment & Weather
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.

 
The Salvation Army Responds to Spring Flooding PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Holly Nomura   
Friday, 03 May 2013 14:13

Emergency Disaster Service (EDS) VolunteersDeploy Throughout Illinois & Iowa

QUAD CITIES, USA: Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) volunteers are being deployed to serve meals and provide emotional and spiritual support to those affected by the floods in Ottawa, IL and Canton, IL.

The spring flooding of 2013 has caused great water damage to property and left people homeless throughout the Quad Cities and surrounding areas.

The Salvation Army served 100+ cups of hot coffee and 200+ snacks to the city-employed sandbaggers on the Mississippi River on a very cold April evening. Steve Garrington, Quad Cities EDS Director, states that “The Salvation Army’s mission is to provide a compassionate response to the Quad Cities and the surrounding areas, as well as Boston, west Texas, everywhere there is human need.”

After the Barstow Levy breach, The Salvation Army supplied the Carbon Cliff/Barstow Fire Department 200 flood clean up kits. The department’s staff walked door to door with the kits to be sure every home had adequate access to assistance.
Another 50 clean up kits were forwarded to East Moline Fire Stations by the Rock Island County Health Department. The Scott County Health Department is waiting for the waters to recede before they make the Salvation Army-provided clean up kits available.

Monetary donations may be sent to your local Salvation Army, online at www.salvationarmyusa.org, byphone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

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Our Global Warming Debate was Snowed Out PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Centennial Institute CCU   
Friday, 03 May 2013 14:08

New Date for Snow-delayed Climate Debate, May 13

Ethics professor Philip Cafaro (pictured) was prevented by a blizzard from debating energy expert Robert Zubrin on whether population growth and carbon fuels are overheating the planet. They'll finally face off on May 13 at the CCU Beckman Center. Don your long johns and join us. No charge, but reservations are required.

 Philip Cafaro image

Learn More & Register


 
Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Due by May 31 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 13:25
Voluntary program allows producers to maintain or increase productivity of their operations while also conserving natural resources

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Natural Resources Conservation Service's Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) will provide nearly $175 million in funding for up to 12.6 million additional acres of enrollment this year.

"The Conservation Stewardship Program is different than other USDA financial assistance programs," said Vilsack. "CSP offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship. It's about conservation activities on the entire operation focusing on multiple resource concerns."

Vilsack explained that although applications are accepted all year, farmers, ranchers and forestland owners interested in CSP should submit applications by May 31 to their local NRCS office to ensure they are considered for this year's funding.

The voluntary program allows producers to go the extra mile in conserving natural resources while also maintaining or increasing the productivity of their operations.

Playing a significant part in conserving and improving our nation's resources, producers enrolled an additional 12.1 million acres in CSP last year, bringing the total number of acres to more than 50 million.

Many of the CSP enhancements improve soil quality, which helps land become more resilient to extreme weather.

Several other improvements are available for producers, including intensive rotational grazing, intercropping and wildlife friendly fencing.

Because of the extreme weather in 2012, more interest and participation in the cover crop enhancements is expected this year, according to NRCS experts.

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.

For the checklist and additional information, visit the CSP website

(http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/csp/) or visit your local USDA NRCS office.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


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