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Federal News

$38 Million in Federal Funding Supports Westchester County’s Sandy Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 12/23/2013 - 10:19

NEW YORK -- FEMA has approved more than $38 million in Hurricane Sandy assistance to fund emergency efforts and help repair and rebuild public infrastructure in Westchester County.

To date, local, state and federal recovery officials have identified 345 projects from applicants in Westchester County that are eligible for Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The $38,398,651 million represents 90 percent of the cost of approved PA projects that will be reimbursed by FEMA. The state manages the PA program and disburses funding.

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Categories: Federal News

$2.9 Million in Federal Funding Supports Ulster County’s Sandy Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 12/23/2013 - 10:14

NEW YORK – FEMA has approved more than $2.9 million in Hurricane Sandy assistance to fund emergency efforts and help repair and rebuild public infrastructure in Ulster County.

To date, local, state and federal recovery officials have identified 50 projects from applicants in Ulster County that are eligible for Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The $2,946,301 million represents 90 percent of the cost of approved PA projects that will be reimbursed by FEMA. The state manages the PA program and disburses funding.

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Categories: Federal News

Assured Your Recovery Is Insured? Have a Plan B

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 12/21/2013 - 21:42

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – If you sustained damage from the Nov. 17 tornadoes and have submitted a claim to your insurance company, your insurance settlement may not cover all of your expenses. FEMA says disaster assistance may help cover expenses that arise later.

Apply for FEMA assistance and you may avoid unexpected, uncovered expenses, such as:

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Categories: Federal News

Many Forms of Disaster Assistance Available

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 12/21/2013 - 21:39

Springfield, Ill.— While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Small Business Administration (SBA) may provide valuable grants and loans to disaster survivors for repairing or replacing lost property, disaster assistance may be available through other sources.

The following are valuable resources for survivors of the Nov. 17 tornadoes in Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, LaSalle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford counties to receive help their recovery.

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Categories: Federal News

NM Officials face Dec. 27 Deadline For Requests For Public Assistance

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 12/20/2013 - 18:33

SANTA FE – Severe storms and flooding that took place Sept. 9th through 22nd damaged public facilities and roads in15 New Mexico counties. President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for 15 New Mexico counties on Oct. 29.

On Nov. 27, De Baca, Dona Ana, Harding, Lincoln, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan counties, and the Isleta, Sandia, and Taos Pueblos and the Navajo Nation were added to the declaration. 

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Categories: Federal News

Earthquake/Tsunami Hazard in Caribbean Higher Than Previously Thought

USGS Newsroom - Fri, 12/20/2013 - 18:18

Contact Information:

Heidi  Koontz ( Phone: 303-202-4763 );



Enough strain may be currently stored in an earthquake zone near the island of Guadeloupe to cause a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Caribbean, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

USGS and French researchers studying the plate boundary in the Lesser Antilles region—the area where 20 of the 26 Caribbean islands are located—estimate that enough unreleased strain may have accumulated offshore of Guadeloupe to potentially create a magnitude 8.0-8.4 earthquake. A magnitude 7.5-8.5 quake in 1843 killed several thousand people in Guadeloupe, and a similar quake in the future could cause several tens to several hundreds of fatalities, and hundreds of millions to billions of U.S. dollars in damages. The paper was recently published in the Geophysical Journal International.

"Perception that a mega quake can occur in the Caribbean is low because none have been observed over the past century, and the rate at which the tectonic plates converge is fairly slow," said USGS scientist Gavin Hayes, lead author of the paper. "Nevertheless, we show that enough unreleased strain may have accumulated on the subduction zone since the 19th century to generate a mega quake in the future."

The impacted areas in Guadeloupe are of concern because these islands are popular with tourists.

The shaking hazard from the scenario earthquake is predominantly limited to Guadeloupe, though other islands could be affected by earthquake hazards from more local sources. Because of the thrusting style of the earthquake modeled, a tsunami could result, which would significantly impact Guadeloupe and would be hazardous in other areas around the Caribbean. The impact of the tsunami would likely be fairly minimal on the east coast of the U.S.  

Based on historic strain release computations and previous research, the research team modeled several scenario earthquakes in the 7.5-8.5 magnitude range, using a variety of potential earthquake rupture areas and utilizing the USGS ShakeMap and PAGER software packages. Strong ground shaking during the scenario earthquake would likely cause loss of life and costly damages.

$1 Million in Federal Funding Supports Sullivan County’s Sandy Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 12/20/2013 - 17:52

NEW YORK -- FEMA has approved more than $1 million in Hurricane Sandy assistance to fund emergency efforts and help repair and rebuild public infrastructure in Sullivan County.

To date, local, state and federal recovery officials have identified 55 projects from applicants in Sullivan County that are eligible for Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The $1,088,388 million represents 90 percent of the cost of approved PA projects that will be reimbursed by FEMA. The state manages the PA program and disburses funding.

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Categories: Federal News

$141 Million in Federal Funding Supports Suffolk County’s Sandy Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 12/20/2013 - 17:40

NEW YORK -- FEMA has approved more than $141 million in Hurricane Sandy assistance to fund emergency efforts and help repair and rebuild public infrastructure in Suffolk County.

To date, local, state and federal recovery officials have identified 608 projects from applicants in Suffolk County that are eligible for Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The $141,230,254 million represents 90 percent of the cost of approved PA projects that will be reimbursed by FEMA. The state manages the PA program and disburses funding.

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Categories: Federal News

$12.4 Million in Federal Funding Supports Rockland County’s Sandy Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 12/20/2013 - 17:35

NEW YORK -- FEMA has approved more than $12 million in Hurricane Sandy assistance to fund emergency efforts and help repair and rebuild public infrastructure in Rockland County.

To date, local, state and federal recovery officials have identified 134 projects from applicants in Rockland County that are eligible for Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The $12,404,913 million represents 90 percent of the cost of approved PA projects that will be reimbursed by FEMA. The state manages the PA program and disburses funding.

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Categories: Federal News

$1.3 Million in Federal Funding Supports Richmond County’s Sandy Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 12/20/2013 - 17:21

NEW YORK -- FEMA has approved more than $1.3 million in Hurricane Sandy assistance to fund emergency efforts and help repair and rebuild public infrastructure in Richmond County.

To date, local, state and federal recovery officials have identified 27 projects from applicants in Richmond County that are eligible for Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The $1,350,231 million represents 90 percent of the cost of approved PA projects that will be reimbursed by FEMA. The state manages the PA program and disburses funding.

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Categories: Federal News

$452 Million in Federal Funding Supports Queens County’s Sandy Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 12/20/2013 - 17:10

NEW YORK -- FEMA has approved more than $452 million in Hurricane Sandy assistance to fund emergency efforts and help repair and rebuild public infrastructure in Queens County.

To date, local, state and federal recovery officials have identified 130 projects from applicants in Queens County that are eligible for Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The $452,123,532 million represents 90 percent of the cost of approved PA projects that will be reimbursed by FEMA. The state manages the PA program and disburses funding.

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Categories: Federal News

$2.2 Billion in FEMA Public Assistance Grants for Hurricane Sandy Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 12/20/2013 - 16:57

NEW YORK -- More than $2.2 billion in federal aid has been approved to reimburse state, local and tribal governments for Sandy-related response and recovery efforts to date in New York. This figure includes over $31 million for permanent work to protect against future disaster damage.

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Categories: Federal News

Federal Aid Programs for the State of Texas Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 12/20/2013 - 14:49

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of Texas.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for Texas

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 12/20/2013 - 14:46

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Texas to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and flooding during the period of October 30-31, 2013.

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Categories: Federal News

Colorado Flooding – 100 Days Later

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 12/20/2013 - 12:14

(Editor: Cuts of disaster response and recovery are available at www.flickr.com/photos/coemergency or www.go.usa.gov/DeK9.)

DENVER – In the 100 days following the catastrophic floods that hit much of Colorado, more than $204 million has gone to individuals and households in recovery assistance, flood insurance payments and low-interest disaster loans.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Pitches In To Collect Toys For Vermont Children

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 12/19/2013 - 12:46

WILLISTON, Vt. – As the Federal Emergency Management Agency wraps up its mission in Vermont, its personnel are trying to leave behind some holiday cheer for the state’s less fortunate children.

As part of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program, staffers at FEMA’s Joint Field Office in Williston have collected new toys to be distributed on Christmas to area children.

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Categories: Federal News

Rantoul Recovery Center to Close Saturday: Holiday Hours for Brookport and East Peoria Centers

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 12/18/2013 - 14:43

Springfield, Ill. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced the Rantoul Disaster Recovery Center at the Rantoul Recreation Building at 100 E. Flessner Ave. will close effective Saturday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m.

After that date, survivors of the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes can still get information by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-FEMA (3362).

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Categories: Federal News

A Modern Compass Improves Oil Production

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 12/18/2013 - 13:34

Contact Information:

Jessica Robertson ( Phone: 703-648-6624 ); Carol A. Finn ( Phone: 303-273-8475 ); Jeffrey J. Love ( Phone: 303-273-8540 );



By using the Earth's magnetic field, combined with new innovative technology, oil and gas drilling companies are increasing oilfield productivity while reducing development costs and environmental impacts.

An article in the fall 2013 issue of Oilfield Review highlights this technology and its applications across the world. It also discusses the public-private collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey and partners to successfully implement the technology.

These days, multiple reservoirs of oil and gas can be accessed from a single platform by drilling vertically and then horizontally. Drill operators need to know which way their drill bits are going to maximize oil production and avoid collisions with other wells. One way to accomplish this important task is to install a magnetometer—a sort of modern-day "compass"—in a drill-string instrument package that follows the drill bit.

The USGS plays a unique role by monitoring the geomagnetic field every single second at magnetic observatories throughout the country. Through a process called geomagnetic referencing, simultaneous measurements of the magnetic field in the drill hole are combined with those from magnetic observatories at the Earth’s surface to produce a highly accurate estimate of the drill bit position and direction.

The Earth's magnetic field changes all the time across the world as a result of factors like periodic daily tides or rapid magnetic storms that are related to the 11-year sunspot solar cycle. And at high latitudes, such as in northern Alaska or the North Sea, the geomagnetic field can be very active and can change dramatically during magnetic storms.

"Drill-bit positioning requires directional accuracy of a fraction of a degree, and this can be accomplished with advanced technology and expert understanding of the Earth's dynamic magnetic field," said Carol A. Finn, USGS Geomagnetism Group Leader. "USGS operational systems measure the magnetic field on a continuous basis. These data are provided as a service to research scientists, civilian and defense government agencies, and to customers in the private sector, including the oil and gas drilling industry."

The USGS Geomagnetism Program monitors variations in the Earth's magnetic field through a network of 14 ground-based observatories around the United States and its territories. There are many customers for geomagnetism data, since the variable conditions of space weather can interfere with radio communication, GPS systems, electric power grids, the operation and orientation of satellites, and even air travel as high altitude pilots and astronauts can be subjected to enhanced levels of radiation.

Internationally, the USGS magnetic observatory network is part of the global INTERMAGNET network. Domestically, the USGS Geomagnetism Program works cooperatively with government partners within the U.S. National Space Weather Program, including NOAA and the Air Force Weather Agency, and with private companies that are affected by space weather and geomagnetic activity.

Read the Oilfield Review article: Geomagnetic referencing - The real-time compass for directional drillers.

Watch a 7 minute video about the USGS Geomagnetism Program.

Read a USGS factsheet: Monitoring the Earth’s dynamic magnetic field

 

Crowd-Sourcing the Nation: 25,000 Manmade Map Features Edited

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 12/18/2013 - 12:30
Since the beginning of The National Map Corps crowd-sourcing project, more than 25,000 structure or manmade feature updates have been submitted to improve our nation’s maps. Contact Information:

Elizabeth  McCartney
Phone: 573-308-3696

Morgan Bearden
Phone: 573-308-3591

Mark Newell
Phone: 573-308-3850



Civilian volunteers are making significant additions to the U.S. Geological Survey's ability to provide accurate mapping information to the public. Using crowd-sourcing techniques, the USGS' Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) project known as The National Map Corps (TNMCorps) encourages citizen volunteers to collect manmade structures data in an effort to provide accurate and authoritative spatial map data for the National Geospatial Program’s web-based The National Map

Structures being updated include schools, hospitals, post offices, police stations and other important public buildings.

Starting as a series of pilot projects in 2011, nearly 400 volunteers edited structures in the state of Colorado and contributed more than 6,800 edits.  With approval to expand the project, the USGS began releasing the rest of the United States for editing in a phased approach in April 2013.  By August of this year, volunteers were editing in every state in the country.  To date, the numbers of volunteers has more than tripled, and the number of submitted edits has exceeded 25,000.

The first available virtual badge, The Order of the Surveyor’s Chain, awarded to TNMCorps volunteers who collect more than 25 points. (High resolution image)

"The number of points contributed and edited by volunteers is incredible," said Kari Craun, the director of the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center. "Our challenge going forward will be to keep volunteers motivated and to make sure we have coverage in all areas of the United States.  We think at least part of that motivation will come from letting volunteers -- and potential volunteers -- know how valuable the information they contribute is to the USGS and to the users of the data.  So to all of those who have contributed, thank you for your time and energy!

To show appreciation of the volunteers' efforts, The National Map Corps has instituted a recognition program that awards "virtual" badges to volunteers. Each edit that is submitted is worth one point towards the badge level. The badges consist of a series of antique surveying instruments ranging from the Order of the Surveyor's Chain (25 – 50 points) to the Theodolite Assemblage (2000+ points). Additionally, volunteers are publically acknowledged (with permission) via TwitterFacebook and Google+.

Tools on TNMCorps web site explain how a volunteer can edit any area, regardless of their familiarity with the selected structures, and becoming a volunteer for TNMCorps is easy; go to The National Map Corps web site to learn more and to sign up as a volunteer. If you have access to the Internet and are willing to dedicate some time to editing map data, we hope you will consider participating.

 

 

 

Status map of the U.S. showing volunteer contributions after the first set of states were authorized, April 1 – June 18, 2013.

 (Larger image)

Status map of the U.S. showing the progression of volunteer contributions through all 50 states, April 1 - December 15, 2013.

 (Larger image)

A Tough Balance: Brown Trout Can Interfere with Brook Trout Conservation

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 12/18/2013 - 12:00

Cortland, N.Y.— Brown trout introductions could hamper the conservation of declining native brook trout populations, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Brook and brown trout are valuable sport fish that co-exist in many parts of the world due to stocking introductions. USGS researchers found that, in New York State, direct interactions between the two species, such as competition for food, have minor effects on diminishing brook trout populations compared to human-caused habitat disturbances. However, repeated, disproportionate stocking of brown trout in brook trout habitats could drastically decrease brook trout numbers.

"There is great potential for brown trout stocking to reduce native brook trout populations," said James McKenna, USGS scientist and lead author of the study. "But brown trout aren’t necessarily causing the current brook trout declines, and managers may be able to develop sustainable scenarios to support both fisheries."

The USGS study found that human-induced degradation (from dams and roads, among other causes) of the habitats of both species can affect the populations of either. However, because brook trout do better in forested watersheds, whereas brown trout can thrive in more agricultural environments, degraded watersheds and/or the elimination of forests may affect brook more than brown trout. Improper brown trout management could further threaten vulnerable brook trout populations.

Fisheries managers in New York use stocking to maintain brook trout—a native species—and/or brown trout—a non-native species stocked in New York for over 100 years—in some streams. Brook trout have been declining within its native range in recent decades, and there has been concern that the stocking of brown trout has caused these declines.

The report is published in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management and is available online.

For more information on USGS Great Lakes ecosystem research, please visit the USGS Great Lakes Science Center website.