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Federal News

STATE/FEMA RECOVERY CENTER OPENS IN OKLAHOMA COUNTY

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 06/04/2015 - 17:09

OKLAHOMA CITY – People in Oklahoma affected by the recent severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding can soon visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Oklahoma City. The DRC officially opens tomorrow, Saturday, May 30, 2015, at 7 a.m.

While a visit to the DRC is not required for those applying for federal aid, it is a one-stop shop where survivors can go for one-on-one information about state, federal or other disaster assistance that may be available. The center is located at this address:

Oklahoma County

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Categories: Federal News

Kentucky Storm Survivors Urged to Stay in Touch with FEMA

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 06/04/2015 - 16:16

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky storm survivors who have registered for disaster assistance are urged to stay in touch with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and keep their contact information current throughout the recovery process.

If survivors change their addresses, telephone numbers, bank accounts or insurance information, it is important that they share the new information with FEMA.

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Categories: Federal News

Two Kentucky Counties Designated for Public Assistance

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 06/03/2015 - 14:33

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has amended a recent disaster declaration for severe winter storms in February in order to make Ballard and Wayne counties eligible for its Public Assistance program.

Local governments and eligible private nonprofit organizations in Ballard and Wayne may apply for federal funds to pay 75 percent of the approved cost of emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. FEMA’s Public Assistance is a cost-share reimbursement program.

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Categories: Federal News

USGS Ups Ease of Use for Landsat Data

USGS Newsroom Technical - Tue, 06/02/2015 - 16:38
Summary: Landsat satellite data have been produced, archived, and distributed by the U.S. Geological Survey since 1972

Contact Information:

Jon Campbell ( Phone: 703-648-4180 ); Tom Holm ( Phone: 605-594-6127 );



Landsat satellite data have been produced, archived, and distributed by the U.S. Geological Survey since 1972. Data users in many different fields depend on this basic Earth observation information to conduct broad investigations of historical land surface change that cross large regions of the globe and span many years. Accordingly, this community of users requires consistently calibrated radiometric data that are processed to the highest standards.

Recognizing the need, the USGS has begun production of higher-level (more highly processed) Landsat data products to help advance land surface change studies. One such product is Landsat surface reflectance data. 

Surface reflectance data products approximate what a sensor held just above the Earth’s surface would measure, if conditions were ideal without any intervening artifacts (interference or changing conditions) that may come from the Earth’s atmosphere, different levels of illumination, and the changing geometry of the view by the sensor from hundreds of miles above the Earth. The precise removal of atmospheric artifacts increases the consistency and comparability between images of the Earth’s surface taken at different times of the year and different times of the day. 

Surface reflectance and other high level data products can be requested through the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center by accessing the EROS Science Processing Architecture (ESPA) interface. Surface reflectance data are also available using the USGS EarthExplorer; select “Landsat CDR” under the tab for datasets.

More information on Landsat surface reflectance data is available at the USGS Landsat website and in an updated USGS Fact Sheet

Texans Have Three Ways to Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 06/02/2015 - 12:59

AUSTIN, Texas – Texans who sustained property damage as a result of the ongoing severe storms and flooding are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as they may be eligible for federal and state disaster assistance.

The presidential disaster declaration of May 29 makes disaster aid available to eligible families, individuals and business owners in Hays, Harris and Van Zandt counties.  

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Reminds Residents to be Ready for the 2015 Hurricane Season

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 16:10

WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges residents across the nation to prepare for the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane season, which begins today and runs through November 30. 

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Announces Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 06/01/2015 - 15:15

WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is announcing $180 million in funding available through two Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs: Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM). These two grant programs assist state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in strengthening our nation’s ability to reduce the potential cost of natural disasters to communities and their citizens.

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Categories: Federal News

Federal Aid Programs for State of Texas Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 05/30/2015 - 00:09

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 Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for Texas

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 05/30/2015 - 00:05

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 and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding during the period beginning on May 4, 2015 and continuing.

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Harris, Hays, and Van Zandt counties.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Announces Launch of Hurricane Sandy Flood Insurance Claims Review Process

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 18:14
FEMA Officials Encourage Those With Concerns about Hurricane Sandy Flood Insurance Claims to Call 866-337-4262


WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) announced the start of Hurricane Sandy flood insurance claims review. The review is part of a broad process to reform NFIP claims and appeals procedures.       

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Categories: Federal News

STATE/FEMA RECOVERY CENTER OPENS IN OKLAHOMA COUNTY

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 17:26

OKLAHOMA CITY – People in Oklahoma affected by the recent severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding can soon visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Oklahoma City. The DRC officially opens tomorrow, Saturday, May 30, 2015, at 7 a.m.

While a visit to the DRC is not required for those applying for federal aid, it is a one-stop shop where survivors can go for one-on-one information about state, federal or other disaster assistance that may be available. The center is located at this address:

Oklahoma County

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Categories: Federal News

Deadline For Federal Assistance For Kentucky Storm Survivors Approaching

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 09:58

 

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – Kentucky storm survivors have until June 30 to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance and complete their Small Business Administration disaster loan application.

Survivors who suffered losses during the severe storms in April in Bath, Bourbon, Carter, Elliott, Franklin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Madison, Rowan and Scott counties who have delayed registering for any reason should apply for potential assistance that could include:

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Categories: Federal News

OKLAHOMA STORM SURVIVORS URGED TO REGISTER FOR DISASTER ASSISTANCE

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 19:08

OKLAHOMA CITY – Homeowners, renters and business owners affected by the recent severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding in Oklahoma are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as they may be eligible for disaster assistance.

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Categories: Federal News

Heat Accelerates Dry in California Drought

USGS Newsroom - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 13:56
Summary: Although record low precipitation has been the main driver of one of the worst droughts in California history, abnormally high temperatures have also played an important role in amplifying its adverse effects, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey and university partners

Contact Information:

Jon Campbell ( Phone: 703-648-4180 ); Chris  Funk ( Phone: 805-893-4223 );



Although record low precipitation has been the main driver of one of the worst droughts in California history, abnormally high temperatures have also played an important role in amplifying its adverse effects, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey and university partners.

Experiments with a hydrologic model for the period Oct. 2013-Sept. 2014 showed that if the air temperatures had been cooler, similar to the 1916-2012 average, there would have been an 86% chance that the winter snowpack would have been greater, the spring-summer runoff higher, and the spring-summer soil moisture deficits smaller.

To gauge the effect of high temperatures on drought, lead author Shraddhanand Shukla (University of California – Santa Barbara, UCSB) devised two sets of modeling experiments that compared climate data from water year 2014 (Oct. 2013-Sept. 2014) to similar intervals during 1916-2012.

In the first simulation set, Shukla substituted 2014 temperature values with the historical temperatures for each of the study’s 97 years, while keeping the 2014 precipitation values. In the second simulation set, he combined the observed 2014 temperatures with historical precipitation values for each of the preceding years, 1916-2012. 

“This experimental approach allows us to model past situations and tease out the influence of temperature in preceding drought conditions,” said Chris Funk, a USGS scientist and a co-author of the investigation. “By crunching enough data over many, many simulations, the effect of temperature becomes more detectable.  We can’t do the same in reality, the here and now, because then we only have a single sample.” Funk, an adjunct professor at UCSB, helps coordinate research at the university that supports USGS programs.  

High heat has multiple damaging effects during drought, according to the study, increasing the vulnerability of California’s water resources and agricultural industry. Not only does high heat intensify evaporative stress on soil, it has a powerful effect in reducing snowpack, a key to reliable water supply for the state. In addition to decreased snowpack, higher temperatures can cause the snowpack to melt earlier, dramatically decreasing the amount of water available for agriculture in summer when it is most needed.

Although the study did not directly address the issue of long-term climate change, the implications of higher temperatures are clear.

“If average temperatures keep rising, we will be looking at more serious droughts, even if the historical variability of precipitation stays the same,” Shukla said. “The importance of temperature in drought prediction is likely to become only more significant in the future.”

The research was published online in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

For more information about drought in California, visit the USGS California Water Science Center online.

Drought effects at Trinity Lake, a major California reservoir located about 60 miles NW of Redding, California. USGS photo, Tim Reed, Feb. 2014. Photo source: CA Water Science Center

Federal Aid To Vermont For Winter Storm Repairs Tops $1 Million

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 13:41

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – State and federal officials say that more than $1 million in federal assistance has been delivered to the state to help cover the costs of the December 9-12, 2014 winter storm that wreaked havoc on Vermont’s infrastructure, downing trees and power lines.

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Categories: Federal News

Hydraulic Fracturing (Frac) Sand Sources and Production in the United States

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 12:20
Summary: Newly released research from the U.S. Geological Survey describes U.S. hydraulic fracturing (frac) sand deposits and their locations, and provides estimates of frac sand production, consumption, and reserves. A companion map of producing and potential frac sand and resin-coated sand source units in the conterminous U.S. is also included

Contact Information:

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



Newly released research from the U.S. Geological Survey describes U.S. hydraulic fracturing (frac) sand deposits and their locations, and provides estimates of frac sand production, consumption, and reserves. A companion map of producing and potential frac sand and resin-coated sand source units in the conterminous U.S. is also included. 

The United States is the largest producer and consumer of frac sand in the world with nearly 70 percent of 2014 domestic production coming from the Great Lakes Region, primarily Wisconsin and Minnesota. The specialized silica sand, which consists of natural sand grains with strict mineralogical and textural properties, acts as a proppant (a granular substance that props open fractures) when added to fracking fluids that are injected into unconventional oil and gas wells during hydraulic fracturing. 

“These new USGS compilations will provide comprehensive information about frac sand to mining companies, the petroleum industry, and land managers,” said USGS scientist Mary Ellen Benson, principal author of “Frac Sand Sources in the United States”. 

Hydraulic fracturing in the U.S. significantly increased around 2004, and frac sand production rapidly grew to meet that demand. “Estimates of Hydraulic Fracturing (Frac) Sand Production, Consumption, and Reserves in the United States” by USGS scientist Don Bleiwas, provides an overview of the frac sand industry, including production, consumption, reserves, and resources. 

“Frac Sand Sources in the United States,” by USGS geologists Mary Ellen Benson and Anna Burack Wilson, describes the unique physical properties of frac sand and focuses on the geology and spatial relationships of frac sand sources in the U.S. It also tracks recent published efforts to examine the potential for less optimal frac sand sources, reviews current and future sources in Canada, discusses the emergence of alternative proppants, and provides geologic guidelines for identifying potential new sources. 

The papers are contained in a special supplement, Frac Sand Insider Resource Guide, in the May 2015 issue of the magazine Rock Products. A USGS Open-File Report expanding on the geology and containing digital data is expected to be released later this year. 

More information on silica, including demand, production, and uses is available from USGS. Learn more about USGS minerals research or follow us on Twitter

Map of producing and potential frac sand and resin-coated source units in the conterminous United States. (High resolution image)

Louisville Disaster Recovery Centers To Transition to Disaster Loan Outreach Centers

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 08:18

 

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – The two remaining disaster recovery centers in Louisville, which are operated by the commonwealth of Kentucky and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will close on Thursday, May 28, at 6 p.m. (EDT) and reopen as disaster loan outreach centers on Friday, May 29,      at 9 a.m.

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Categories: Federal News

Federal Aid Programs for State of Oklahoma Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 15:41

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 Oklahoma.

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

Language English
Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for Oklahoma

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 15:35

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 Oklahoma and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of May 5-10, 2015

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Cleveland, Grady, and Oklahoma counties.

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Categories: Federal News

Mammoths Reached the California Channel Islands Much Earlier Than Previously Thought

USGS Newsroom - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 10:57
Summary: Recently, U.S. Geological Survey researchers and partners working in California’s Channel Islands National Park discovered mammoth remains in uplifted marine deposits that date to about 80,000 years ago, confirming a long-held but never proven hypothesis that mammoths may have been on the Channel Islands long before the last glacial period 25,000 to 12,000 years ago

Contact Information:

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



Recently, U.S. Geological Survey researchers and partners working in California’s Channel Islands National Park discovered mammoth remains in uplifted marine deposits that date to about 80,000 years ago, confirming a long-held but never proven hypothesis that mammoths may have been on the Channel Islands long before the last glacial period 25,000 to 12,000 years ago.  

“These are the first confidently dated fossils from the California Channel Islands showing that mammoths had been on the islands a long time, not just during the last glacial period,” said lead author and USGS research geologist Dan Muhs. “It supports an older hypothesis that mammoths could have swum from the mainland to the islands any time that conditions were favorable for such a journey, when sea level was low.” 

This discovery on Santa Rosa Island, detailed in the online and print journal editions of Quaternary Research, shows that mammoths likely ventured to the islands during at least one earlier glacial period, when sea level was lower than present and the swimming distance from the mainland to the islands was minimal.  

The older age of mammoths also challenges the hypothesis that climate change and sea level rise at the close of the last glacial period (about 12,000 years ago) were the causes of mammoth extinction on the Channel Islands. Earlier mammoth populations also would have had to contend with climate change and sea level rise, but apparently survived.     

The newly discovered fossil mammoth remains are likely Mammuthus exilis, the pygmy mammoth. The Columbian mammoth immigrated to the islands from the California mainland by swimming and the pygmy mammoth evolved on the islands from this ancestral stock. Most mammoth remains previously reported on the Channel Islands date to the last glacial period, about 25,000 to 12,000 years ago.  

Mammoths are iconic animals of the Pleistocene Ice Ages, both in North America and Eurasia. Fossil mammoths and other proboscideans (elephants and their relatives) have also been found on many islands of the Mediterranean.