Environment & Weather
Braley Statement on Severe Storm Damage in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Alexandra Krasov   
Monday, 01 August 2011 09:32

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after severe storms hit parts of Iowa:

"My staff and I are closely monitoring these storms and the reports of damage around Eastern Iowa. While officials are still assessing the full extent of the damage, my office is open and my staff is available to help any Iowans who need it."

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Grassley supports Branstad’s request for federal disaster assistance PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:30

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley has asked the President to grant the request made today by Governor Terry Branstad for a declaration of a major disaster in response to the severe weather earlier this month in Benton, Marshall, Story and Tama counties.

In a letter of request sent today to President Barack Obama, Grassley said, “The Governor determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments to handle effectively and federal assistance is needed.”

On July 15, Grassley went to see local residents and community leaders coping with the aftermath of these storms in Vinton, Garrison and Dysart.

Here is the text of Grassley’s letter to the President:

July 27, 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I respectfully ask that you grant the request made by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for a declaration of a major disaster for the State of Iowa as a result of severe weather that has produced hail, heavy rains, high winds, and thunderstorms beginning on July 9, 2011 and continuing.  This weather system moved into Iowa and severely impacted Benton, Marshall, Story, and Tama Counties.

The Governor determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments to handle effectively and federal assistance is needed. 

Thank you for your prompt consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Grassley
United States Senator

 
Harkin Supports Governor’s Request for Individual Assistance; Urges President to Approve PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Harkin Press Office   
Friday, 22 July 2011 22:29

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a letter to President Obama today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) supported Governor Branstad’s request for individual assistance in Fremont, Harrison, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury Counties due to rising floodwaters and asked that the President approve the declaration.  Earlier this month, Harkin urged Secretary Vilsack’s declaration for crop assistance.

“The cost of the flood fighting effort is evident from cities such as Sioux City to communities downriver as far as the town of Hamburg,” wrote Harkin.  “Every community, business and family on the river, and in some instances miles inland from the river, has been impacted.   I therefore urge you to assist the State of Iowa and the affected counties in every way possible so they may quickly recover from this disaster.”

 

The full text of Harkin’s letter follows.

 

July 20, 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I write today to urge expeditious approval of Governor Terry Branstad’s request that Woodbury, Monona, Harrison, Pottawattamie and Fremont Counties receive a federal declaration of a Major Disaster for Individual Assistance. This declaration will allow federal aid to immediately assist my constituents along the Missouri River.

The individuals in the areas mentioned above have taken extraordinary steps in order to fight oncoming flood waters from the Missouri River, and have spent private dollars in order to mitigate the effects of this flood.  For that reason, Governor Terry Branstad issued a State Disaster Proclamation for these counties on June 2, 2011. The cost of the flood fighting effort is evident from cities such as Sioux City to communities downriver as far as the town of Hamburg.  Every community, business and family on the river, and in some instances miles inland from the river, has been impacted.

As Governor Branstad’s disaster declaration request indicates, significant manpower and equipment available at the state, county, and local level have been dedicated to responding to the Missouri River flood.  The preliminary damage assessment completed by local and state emergency management staff in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration officials have confirmed severe cost to my constituents in western Iowa.

I therefore urge you to assist the State of Iowa and the affected counties in every way possible so they may quickly recover from this disaster. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

Tom Harkin

 
Learn about the Restoration and Preservation of Iowa’s Tallgrass Prairies PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Joy Venhorst   
Friday, 22 July 2011 22:11

During July and August, purple coneflowers and prairie blazing star add touches of lavender to Iowa road ditches planted in native prairie plants. Clusters of bright orange butterfly milkweed, compass plants extending large yellow, daisy-like flowers high above yellow seas of gray-headed coneflowers create mid-summer interest along roadways and prairie areas.

Iowans curious about the use of native plants and the state’s work restoring and preserving prairie vegetation should attend the Iowa Master Gardener (MG) summer series webinar July 26. The webinar will be hosted by the ISU Scott County Extension office, 875 Tanglefoot Lane Bettendorf from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The webinar is open to the public and the cost is $5.00. Master Gardeners can earn two hours of update training by attending.

“Tallgrass Prairies of Iowa” is the topic of the webinar, the third in a series of four Garden Natives and Invasives 2011 sessions offered by the Master Gardener program. Daryl Smith, from the Tallgrass Prairie Center and University of Northern Iowa, is the July 26 presenter. He will share the history and reach of the Tallgrass Prairie Center and tell how the mission of the center to ‘develop research, techniques, education and Source Identified seed for restoration and preservation of prairie vegetation’ is carried out in the state.

The webinar series is made possible by the Iowa Master Gardener program, Iowa State University Extension and Department of Horticulture. The final webinar in the series, scheduled for August 23, will highlight the importance of native species, discuss the problems and related issues with invasive species in Iowa.

Contact your county extension office for more information about Iowa Master Gardeners or the webinar series.

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Great Mississippi River Clean-Up 2011 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Natalie Linville-Mass   
Monday, 18 July 2011 13:33

2011 Great Mississippi River Clean-Up

Comes Home to the Quad-Cities

Quad-Cities/ July 10th, 2011 – A massive volunteer effort to clean the mighty   Mississippi   is about to begin its third phase in the place where it all began.  The Great Mississippi River Clean-Up (GMRC) is a volunteer effort coordinated by Living Lands & Waters (LLW), an East Moline, IL-based non-profit environmental group.  Last year, LLW coordinated the first-ever simultaneous clean up of the  Mississippi River .   This year, the initiative has expanded from 22 to 30 cities and has grown into a summer-long campaign.    Living   Lands   & Waters (LL&W) will launch the third phase of the 2011 Great Mississippi River Clean Up on Saturday, August 13th. Volunteers from the Quad-Cities through Keokuk will help pull garbage out of the waters and onto the shores of Muscatine  Burlington  Ft.   Madison  and  Keokuk  Iowa  and Oquawka, New Boston and   Nauvoo  Illinois  .  This year’s Great Mississippi River Clean-Up began on June 11th along the shores of  Wisconsin  Minnesota  and  Northern Iowa , where volunteers pulled truckloads of discarded materials from the waters so that it could be disposed of properly.   Clean-ups previously scheduled in   Saint Paul   and Red Wing, MN and Prairie duChien, WI had to be re-scheduled because high water and fast-moving debris made it too hazardous for volunteers.

The phenomenal growth of the Great Mississippi River Clean-up, with the addition of eight more cities this year, required organizers to broaden their efforts to monthly clean-ups across the summer.  In all, 1200-1500 volunteers are expected to take part in this year’s clean-up of this iconic waterway.  The final phases of the GMRC will begin September 17th and involve volunteers from  Canton  MO  through   St. Louis  MO.   Please note the dates are subject to river flood conditions

LL&W Founder and President Chad Pregracke says flooding is something LLW adapts to almost every year.  “The river is constantly changing, and because of that, we must always be prepared and able to respond.”  Pregracke, who was recently recognized as a ‘Service Hero’ at the Points of Light Foundation’s tribute to former President George H.W. Bush, Sr.  Pregracke adds that doing the clean up in phases will help bring our important message to more people.  Said Pregracke, “That’s part of what Living Lands and Waters is all about:  bringing the health of our rivers to the attention of everyone who depends upon them, and then working to improve it.”

The Great Mississippi River Cleanup will remove debris such as tires, barrels, propane tanks, appliances, plastic bottles and more from the waterway. Volunteers will be needed to assist in debris collection on the day of the cleanup. If possible, LL&W is also looking for people who are willing to haul debris in their boats to the boat launch where roll-off dumpsters or other disposal facilities will be in place.

 Living   Lands  and Waters is a 501(c) (3) environmental organization established in 1998 and headquartered in   East Moline  Illinois  .  LL&W has removed more than six million pounds of trash through cleanup efforts along the  Mississippi  Missouri  Ohio  Illinois  and  Potomac  rivers since its launch over 12 years ago. LL&W also coordinated flood relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the historic floods in  Cedar Rapids  Iowa  and   Lake Delton  Wisconsin   in 2008. 

For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, please visit www.livinglandsandwaters.org.

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