These past months have brought tough times for folks across the nation. Unusual weather patterns – too much water in some places, not enough elsewhere – have driven thousands of Americans from their homes, and threatened their livelihoods.
Other families have seen their lives turned upside down by tornados or threatened by historic wildfires.
In these difficult times, my heart goes out to all of those who have been touched by these disasters. And I want folks to know that at USDA – and across the federal government – we are we are doing our best to serve all those who have been affected. Read more »
Finished 4 and 1/2 foot tall sandbag dike along bend in Suncoast Drive
Two weeks ago, I received a call from my brother and sister-in-law. They had just found out that their home might be impacted by the Missouri River flooding. Read more »
Flooding devastation in Missouri put farmland underwater.
On the heels of Secretary Vilsack’s visit to the Midwest last week to inspect Missouri River flood damage to area farms and communities, Farm and Foreign Service (FFAS) Acting Deputy Under Secretary Karis Gutter stopped by Mounds City, Missouri and Hamburg, Iowa to hear from local producers, and to see for himself the devastating effects of the flooding. Read more »
As Administrator of USDA’s Risk management Agency (RMA), I want to assure affected producers within the flood-swollen areas of the Missouri River that this flood event is covered by crop insurance for those insured farmers and ranchers within the terms and conditions of their policy. The flood happening now is the result of extraordinary amounts of rainfall this spring and winter snow runoff, which is a natural cause of loss and covered by crop insurance. We’ve spoken with the crop insurance companies and they assure us that they have adequate, experienced staff along with additional adjusters as needed to help settle claims as soon as they can get into the fields.
Some farmers have contacted RMA and voiced concerns that the flooded lands may not be covered by crop insurance if there was breach of a water-supporting structure near their land, such as the collapse of a levee, but this is the type of coverage farmers have paid for with their crop insurance premiums. Read more »
The finished dam.
Residents who live in the Whitewater Lake Watershed in upstate South Carolina are now protected from dangerous flood waters after heavy rain events, thanks to the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program. Read more »
In late May, two zoos in central North Dakota were hit hard by flooding. The disaster prompted the need for a swift evacuation of the animals. In Bismarck, the Missouri River threatened to submerge the Dakota Zoo and its 500+ animals under as much as seven feet of water, and in Minot the Roosevelt Park Zoo was a potential target of the rising Souris River, which runs directly through the city.
During the height of the flooding, APHIS’ Animal Care Program monitored reports coming from the zoos and kept abreast of river levels. Inspector Amy Jirsa-Smith contacted zoo officials regularly. She was on-site at both facilities, and helped corral some animals at the Dakota Zoo so they could be transported to other facilities. However, she is quick to point out that the zoo staff at both facilities, with the assistance of several cooperating state and local agencies, state veterinarians, four neighboring zoos and the National Guard, had everything under control. Read more »