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Federal News

FEMA Releases Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps for Middlesex and Monmouth Counties

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 16:43

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today released Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for Middlesex and Monmouth Counties that reflect the latest refinements to the ongoing analysis of flood hazards. This release is the next step in the coastal Flood Insurance Study update. The Preliminary FIRMs replace the Preliminary Work Maps for Middlesex and Monmouth Counties that were released in June/July of 2013 as an interim product.

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Categories: Federal News

Nutrient Ratios Could Affect Microcystin Occurrence

USGS Newsroom Technical - Mon, 02/03/2014 - 09:00
Summary: Evaluations of water nutrient ratios suggest that concentrations of a class of cyanobacteria toxins (cyanotoxins), called microcystins, tended to decrease as the total nitrogen to total phosphorus (TN:TP) ratio increased. 

Contact Information:

Donita Turk ( Phone: 785-832-3570 );



Evaluations of water nutrient ratios suggest that concentrations of a class of cyanobacteria toxins (cyanotoxins), called microcystins, tended to decrease as the total nitrogen to total phosphorus (TN:TP) ratio increased. 

Nitrogen addition and phosphorus removal treatments were used to control nutrient ratios in confined experimental chambers in Willow Creek Reservoir, Ore., over two consecutive summers.  

Two scientific articles on this research, recently published in the scholarly journal Lake and Reservoir Management, were completed as a joint partnership between the University of Idaho and the U.S. Geological Survey. The study supports previous work done on nutrient ratios and microcystins.  The articles, entitled "Experimental manipulation of TN:TP ratios suppress cyanobacterial biovolume and microcystin concentration in large-scale in situ mesocosms," and "Experimental additions of aluminum sulfate and ammonium nitrate to in situ mesocosms to reduce cyanobacterial biovolume and microcystin concentration," are available online.  

"This does not necessarily mean that increasing nitrogen in a lake will decrease cyanotoxins," said USGS scientist Ted Harris. "This was a study done in one location, and warrants further research."

This case study suggested that a TN:TP ratio of 75:1 or larger resulted in the growth of green algae instead of toxic cyanobacteria. Toxic cyanobacteria can produce toxins such as microcystins which can be harmful to aquatic life, terrestrial animals, and humans. Cyanotoxin exposure has led to illness in wildlife, livestock, and humans and can result in death in severe exposure cases.

Results from this research could help manage cyanobacteria toxin production; however these approaches need to be studied more extensively in whole-lake settings to fully understand the implications of using these approaches to control cyanobacteria toxin production balanced against other potential environmental harm and socio-economic conditions. 

For more information:

Federal Aid Programs for the State of Oklahoma Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 17:31

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 State, Tribal, and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for Oklahoma

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 01/30/2014 - 17:29

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 to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm during the period of December 5-6, 2013.

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Categories: Federal News

Federal Aid Programs for the State of Vermont Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 20:51

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 Vermont.

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

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for Vermont

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 01/29/2014 - 20:47

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 Vermont to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe winter storms during the period of December 20-26, 2013.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA and Partners Exercising Earthquake Scenarios

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 01/28/2014 - 19:12

BOTHELL, Wash. – Why is there so much activity right now at the FEMA Region 10 office in Bothell?

Partners from the American Red Cross to the Bonneville Power Administration to the U.S. Army, and many others, are joining FEMA for what is known as a table-top exercise, planning for a larger full-scale exercise in March.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Awards $2,784,000 Grant to Village of Glenview: Hazard Mitigation funds will be used to make stormwater management improvements

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 01/27/2014 - 10:15

CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released $2,784,000 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to the Village of Glenview, Ill., for stormwater management system improvements. The project includes the installation of 3,160 linear feet of new storm sewers and one new storm water detention basin. These stormwater improvements will help reduce the impacts of heavy rain and flooding in the village.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Awards $746,077 Grant to the Village of Ottawa: Hazard Mitigation funds will be used to acquire and demolish nine flood prone structures

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 01/27/2014 - 10:11

CHICAGO – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released $746,077 in Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to the Village of Ottawa, Oh., for the acquisition and demolition of nine residential structures and the acquisition of one adjacent vacant parcel located in the Blanchard River floodplain.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

 

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Categories: Federal News

Federal Aid Programs for the State of Alaska Declaration

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 18:41

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 Alaska.

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

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Categories: Federal News

President Declares Disaster for Alaska

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 18:39

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 Alaska and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of November 5-14, 2013.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Extends Disaster Assistance Deadline for Illinois Tornado Survivors: FEMA says let us know you need help

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:47

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — At the request of the state of Illinois, Nov. 17 tornado survivors now have until Monday, Feb. 3 to apply to FEMA for disaster assistance.

Registering is easy and usually takes no more than 20 minutes. There are three ways survivors can apply for assistance from FEMA:

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Categories: Federal News

Threat of Earthquakes Occurring in Central United States Still Alive

USGS Newsroom - Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:00

Contact Information:

Morgan Page ( Phone: 626-583-6804 ); Susan Hough ( Phone: 626-583-7224 );



PASADENA, Calif. — Earthquake activity in the New Madrid Seismic Zone in the central United States does not seem to be slowing down.  In a new study published in the journal "Science," seismologists Morgan Page and Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey investigate whether current quakes in the region could be aftershocks of large earthquakes that occurred 200 years earlier.

Using extensive computer modeling of aftershock behavior, they show that the dearth of moderate (Magnitude 6) earthquakes following the series of large earthquakes in 1811-1812, combined with the high rates of small earthquakes today, is not consistent with the long-lived aftershock hypothesis.

A debate has swirled in recent years, fueled in part by past studies suggesting that continuing New Madrid seismic activity could be the tail end of a long-lived aftershock sequence following the 1811-1812 earthquakes.   If modern activity is an aftershock sequence, the argument goes, then there is no evidence that stress is currently building in the zone. Instead, Page and Hough conclude that the current level of activity must be the signature of active, ongoing processes that continue to generate stress in the region –stress that we expect will eventually be released in future large earthquakes.  In other words, the New Madrid Seismic Zone is not dead.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone in the central United States produced 4 large earthquakes with magnitudes upwards of 7 over the winter of 1811-1812.  Over the last two centuries, small quakes have continued to occur in the zone at a higher rate than elsewhere in the central United States.  Geologic evidence also shows that large earthquake sequences occurred there in about 1450 A.D. and 900 A.D.

The paper, "The New Madrid Seismic Zone: Not Dead Yet," is available online. Additional information about the New Madrid Seismic Zone and its history is available from the USGS online.

Recent earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (CEUS-SSC catalog, 1990-2008). (Larger image) A timeline of earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (top) differs significantly from a typical aftershock sequence (bottom). A new study shows that earthquakes occurring today in the region are not aftershocks of the 1811-1812 earthquakes. Rather, they are evidence that stress is continuing to accumulate. Data source: CEUS-SSC catalog. (Larger image)

FEMA Provides $5 Million to North Dakota RECs for October Storm Repairs

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 01/22/2014 - 19:02

DENVER — FEMA announced today that federal disaster aid totaling $3,965,356.40 has been made available to Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative and $1,240,902.86 has been made available to Slope Electric Cooperative.  The funds are being made available as part of the federal disaster declaration made by President Obama to assist North Dakota in dealing with the early October blizzard.

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Categories: Federal News

Freestone County, Texas Added to Federal Declaration for Halloween Floods

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 01/22/2014 - 11:02

AUSTIN, Texas – A Jan. 17, 2014 amendment to a federal disaster declaration for Texas following the severe storms and flooding that impacted central portions of the state on Oct. 30-31, 2013 now includes Freestone County.

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Categories: Federal News

Latest Idaho and New Mexico Quads Available

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 01/22/2014 - 08:00
Newly designed US Topo maps for Idaho and New Mexico, featuring the Public Land Survey System, are now available online for free download

Contact Information:

Bob Davis ( Phone: 573-308-3554 ); Mark  Newell, APR ( Phone: 573-308-3850 );



The USGS, in cooperation with other Federal agencies, has posted new Idaho US Topo quadrangles (1,193) and New Mexico quads (1,980 maps) which include Public Land Survey System (PLSS). These are added to the growing list of states west of the Mississippi River to have PLSS data added to US Topo maps.

"It is a privilege to support production of the US Topo maps, as I am an extensive user of these products,” said Kristin Fishburn, a geographer with the USGS. “The capability to turn layers on and off combined with the continuous enhancements in content makes the maps particularly useful for a recreational user. I'm excited to peruse the new Idaho and New Mexico maps."

The PLSS is a way of subdividing and describing land in the United States. All lands in the public domain are subject to subdivision by this rectangular system of surveys, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Other selected states will begin getting PLSS map data during the next respective revision cycle.

The new design for US Topo maps improves readability of maps for online and printed use, while retaining the look and feel of the traditional USGS topo map. Map symbols are easy to read when the digital aerial photograph layer imagery is turned on. 

Other re-design enhancements and new features:

  • New shaded relief layer for enhanced view of the terrain
  • Military installation boundaries, post offices and cemeteries
  • New road classification
  • A slight screening (transparency) has been applied to some features to enhance visibility of multiple competing layers
  • New PDF legend attachment
  • Metadata formatted to support multiple browsers

US Topo maps are created from geographic datasets in The National Map, and deliver visible content such as high-resolution aerial photography, which was not available on older paper-based topographic maps. The new US Topo maps provide modern technical advantages that support wider and faster public distribution and on-screen geographic analysis tools for users.

The new digital topographic maps are PDF documents with geospatial extensions (GeoPDF®) image software format and may be viewed using Adobe Reader, available as a no-cost download.

These new quads replace the first edition US Topo maps for Idaho and New Mexico. The replaced maps will be added to the USGS Historical Topographic Map Collection which are also available for free download from The National Map and the USGS Map Locator & Downloader website.

US Topo maps are updated every three years. The initial round of the 48 conterminous state coverage was completed in September of 2012.  Hawaii and Puerto Rico maps have recently been added. More than 400 new US Topo maps for Alaska have been added to the USGS Map Locator & Downloader, but will take several years to complete.

For more information, go to: http://nationalmap.gov/ustopo/

Santa Fe, New Mexico 2013 US Topo quadrangle, with orthoimage off. (Larger image) Santa Fe, New Mexico 2013 US Topo quadrangle, showing PLSS data with contour, orthoimage and woodland layers off. Note: "US Topo maps are not legal documents. The PLSS information shown on these maps is for general reference purposes only, and should not be used to determine legal boundaries or land ownership. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the authoritative source for PLSS information at the federal level, and the US Topo representation is derived from BLM GIS data files. The management of these data is not completely uniform throughout the country." (Larger image)

Crisis Counseling Available to Massac, Tazewell County Tornado Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 01/21/2014 - 18:01

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – While Massac and Tazewell county residents are working to recover following the Nov. 17 tornadoes, many of them also need to recover emotionally.

Free help is available for tornado survivors who feel mentally overwhelmed, exhausted or unable to cope.

The Illinois Strong Crisis Counselor Program is a FEMA funded initiative that provides emotional support, recovery education, recovery resource information and coping tips for Massac and Tazewell county survivors.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Disaster Assistance is Available for Illinois Tornado Survivors but Deadline to Register Less Than a Week Away

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 01/21/2014 - 13:26

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Nov. 17 tornado survivors have less than a week to register for federal disaster assistance.

Survivors must register by Monday, Jan. 27, to be considered for FEMA grants and SBA low-interest disaster loans to help cover eligible disaster-related expenses, including:

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Seeks Applicants for Youth Preparedness Council

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 01/17/2014 - 12:07

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking applicants for its Youth Preparedness Council.

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Categories: Federal News

Web Resources and Social Media Focus on Colorado Recovery

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 01/16/2014 - 18:23

DENVER – Those following Colorado’s recovery from severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides can draw upon a variety of Web and social media resources from the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Categories: Federal News