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.Language English
DNREC seeks Delaware students who make a difference in the environment for 2015 Young Environmentalist Awards
Slaughter Beach unveils new Bayshore signage highlighting shorebirds horseshoe crabs terrapins and wildlife habitat
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:Language English
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.Language English
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.
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:
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:Language English
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.Language English
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
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.Language English
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.Map of producing and potential frac sand and resin-coated source units in the conterminous United States. (High resolution image)
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.Language English