Environment & Weather
Senators Harkin, Blunt Launch Bipartisan Senate Mississippi River Caucus PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Friday, 08 February 2013 15:58

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Roy Blunt (Mo.) announced the launch of the bipartisan Mississippi River Caucus today, an initiative to focus and collaborate congressional efforts on important river management goals such as flood mitigation, commerce along the Mississippi River, and to generally assist river communities with concerns.

“We learned a vital lesson this past fall when a potential disruption in navigation along the Mississippi threatened everything from increasing the cost to move goods to potential job losses.  The river and its communities play an important role in commerce and the local economy,” said Harkin.  “The Mississippi River Caucus will look at ways that the Congress can be helpful to the cities and towns along the River to improve their economies and their quality of life, and to better respond to floods and other threats.  I am pleased to work with Senator Blunt in this effort and I look forward to the work ahead.”

“The Mississippi River is a vital artery of commerce for hundreds of millions of tons of agriculture goods and other products that are important to our national economy,” said Blunt. “We must work to maintain the river channel, which has a critical impact on jobs, income to many businesses and farmers, and the economy of the region as a whole. This bipartisan caucus will provide a platform to bring  together those states along the Mississippi River so that we can encourage navigation, promote commerce, and prevent destructive floods.”

The 2012 droughts leading to dangerously low-water levels on the Mississippi River showed the need for states along the river to work together. The Mississippi River Caucus will provide an open forum for the various issues that affect the entire reach of the Mississippi River, like aging infrastructure.

In November 2012, Harkin and Blunt worked to bring together a bipartisan group of Senators to urge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to immediately address water levels and ask President Obama to issue an emergency directive to support response efforts.

The Mississippi River has the third largest drainage basin in the world, and stretches approximately 2,350 miles from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. It is a thriving economic thoroughfare in the United States with hundreds of billions of tons of cargo being transported up and down the river each year, including grain and other agriculture products, coal, iron, steel, and petroleum products.

 

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Coast Guard continues response to crude oil spill near Vicksburg PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Johnathan M Lally   
Friday, 01 February 2013 14:33

VICKSBURG, Miss. — The unified command continues to respond to a crude oil spill in the lower Mississippi River near mile marker 436 in Vicksburg, Miss., Thursday.

At 10:05 a.m. today response crews removed fuel from the damaged barge MOC-12 after reconfiguring oil-pump equipment.  Following completion of the oil removal operations the damaged barge will be inspected and prepared for transit to a maritime facility in nearby Vicksburg.  The MOC-15 barge has been moved upriver from the MOC-12 oil removal operation and is waiting for transportation to a maritime facility.

Response crews have deployed 5,300 feet of boom to contain any potential oil releases. Skimming vessels have recovered approximately 8,400 gallons of oil-water mixture since the incident occurred. The tank levels are being continually monitored.

The unified command is working with the Coast Guard’s Marine Transportation System Recovery Unit to coordinate vessels moving northbound at night and southbound during the day. A safety zone is in effect between mile marker 425 and mile marker 441 restricting travel to commercial vessels.  The Coast Guard is working with the Lower Mississippi River Committee to coordinate vessel movements through the safety zone.

In total, 62 vessels and 974 barges have been cleared to go northbound and southbound since the restrictions have been put into place.

There are 29 northbound vessels with 439 barges and 19 southbound vessels with 315 barges waiting in the queue due to traffic restrictions. Mississippi River vessel traffic queue management is ongoing.

The unified command consists of representatives from the Coast Guard, state on-scene coordinators from Mississippi and Louisiana and the owner of the towing vessel, Nature's Way Marine LLC. Personnel from Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River, Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Vicksburg and the Coast Guard’s National Strike Force are on scene as part of a unified command effort to oversee cleanup and salvage operations.

The Coast Guard investigation into the incident is ongoing.

For further information or media inquiries contact the Information Center in Vicksburg at (601) 801-3521.

Saving Lives and Guarding the Coast Since 1790.
The United States Coast Guard -- Proud History. Powerful Future.

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Your Competitive Advantage May Surprise You! By: Marsha Friedman What’s your best advice for women in business? It’s a question I hear frequently as more and more women strike out on their own, whether it’s to start their own company, write a book, turn PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Friday, 25 January 2013 15:28
A free webinar, Growing Healthy Shade Trees with IPM, especially designed for North Central
states Extension Master Gardeners will be held on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 from 11:30AM-1:00PM at
the ISU Scott County Extension & Outreach office 875 Tanglefoot Drive Bettendorf, IA.

Selecting, managing and caring for trees, especially maple, ash and oak on home landscapes is
the focus of this 90 minute webinar. Planting, fertilizer, water and preventing aboitic problems
will be covered by Jeff Gillman, associate professor, University of Minnesota. Michelle
Grabowski, plant pathologist from the University of Minnesota will discuss diseases and insects
will be covered by David J. Shetlar, (the Bug Doc), Professor of Urban Landscape Entomology.
Call the ISU Scott County Extension & Outreach office to register, 359-7577.

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IBHS Offers Guidance on Reducing Risk of Frozen Pipes PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Joseph King   
Friday, 25 January 2013 15:26

Sub-zero temperatures are making life difficult for people throughout the country. Although you may be concentrated on making sure your fingers and toes don’t freeze right now, it is also important to make sure your plumbing doesn’t freeze.

A frozen pipe can lead to a pipe burst, which can lead to more than $5,000 in water damage. Despite the current cold temperatures, there are still some last-minute actions you can take to reduce your risks of costly damage.

First, find out the truth about frozen pipes below, and then reduce your risks using frozen pipe resources provided by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).

FROZEN PIPE MYTHS

1. Only A Plumber Can Prevent Frozen Pipes

Not true. There are many things that you can do yourself to prevent your pipes from freezing, including sealing windows and doors, adding extra insulation, or use heat trace tape around various piping. Find more details at http://www.disastersafety.org/freezing_weather/prevent-frozen-pipes/.

2. Your Risks Go Away When Temperatures Begin To Warm

Actually, signs of a pipe burst are often only seen when temperatures begin to warm. When a pipe freezes the frozen water may act as a plug, allowing any problems to go unnoticed. Before checking to see if you have any issues when temperatures increase, shut off the water supply to reduce your water damage risks.

3. All Frozen Pipes Burst

A pipe can freeze and not burst. However, a frozen pipe leads to a pipe burst, which can cause more than $5,000 in water damage. Prevent a pipe from bursting by not letting them freeze. Use guidance available at http://www.disastersafety.org/freezing_weather/prevent-frozen-pipes/.

4. A Propane Torch Can Be Used To Thaw Pipes

Don’t even think about it! You may think it will thaw the pipes and prevent significant damage, but you are only increasing your risk of fire damage.

or via direct message on Twitter @jsalking.

Follow IBHS on Twitter at @DisasterSafety and on

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National Weather Service Quad Cities Winter 2012/2013 Newsletter PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Sandra Stevens   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 08:44
The Winter 2012/2013 issue of the National Weather Service Quad Cities' newsletter is now available on our website at http://www.weather.gov/quadcities/?n=additional-links#newsletter. This link also contains all past issues of our newsletter.  There is also a temporary link under the Top News of the Day section on our main webpage.

 
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