U.S. Forest Service employee Jordon Sanders from Harlan, IA., waits for military aircraft to drop off more supplies in response to Hurricane Sandy at the Republic Airport in Farmingdale, NY, on Thursday, Nov 1, 2012. USDA photo by Dave Kosling.
When Hurricane Sandy was forecast to hit the east coast a little more than two weeks ago, no one would have imagined all the devastation and destruction the storm would leave behind. In days leading up to the mandatory evacuation of our coastal areas, many residents wondered if this would be a false alarm similar to last years’ evacuation, when Hurricane Irene came barreling through many of our towns. Although Irene caused considerable power outages, flooding and wind damage up and down the Garden State, nothing can compare to Sandy. Read more »
U.S. Forest Service staff loads relief supplies for New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy.
At the height of the hurricane response effort, approximately 1,200 interagency firefighters organized by the U.S. Forest Service were sent to the impacted areas to provide assistance to communities in need. There are many incredible stories to tell of their work, with one fine example coming from a team dispatched from Portland, Ore. Read more »
Tropical Storm Isaac as of August 23 at 2pm EDT. Click image to enlarge.
Visit www.usda.gov/drought for the latest information regarding USDA’s Drought Disaster response and assistance.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor, dated August 21, reflects a persistence of drought across the majority of the nation. Overall conterminous U.S. drought coverage stands at 63%, up slightly from 62% on August 14 but below the July 24 maximum of 64%. In the last week, U.S. corn in drought climbed a percentage point to 86%, but still below the July 24 peak of 89%. Soybeans in drought remained steady at 83%, five percentage points below the July 24 high. Hay in drought remained steady at 63% for the third consecutive week, down from a high of 66% on July 17 and 24. Cattle in drought rose a percentage point in the last week to 72%, slightly below the July 17 and 24 peak of 73%. Crops and cattle in exceptional drought (D4) remained nearly unchanged – 8% of the U.S. corn, 10% of the soybeans, 12% of the hay, and 14% of the cattle. Read more »
From left: Jessica Shahin, Associate Administrator, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Mika Brzezinski and Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe and Masters of Ceremony listen to Shahin explain the emergency food assistance provided to survivors of Hurricane Katrina at the United States Department of Agriculture's 150th Anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. USDA photo by Bob Nichols.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly seven years since the lives of the citizens of New Orleans and surrounding areas of the Gulf Coast were changed forever in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. This epic storm demanded an immediate and unprecedented response. I was proud to be part of USDA’s team that quickly mobilized to provide disaster food assistance. Read more »
NRCS Massachusetts civil engineer Jim Lyons oversees operations at the Nichols Dam.
Just before Tropical Storm Irene hit Massachusetts, employees of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), including me, were informed of the storm’s potential impact on a dam rehabilitation project that was underway in Westborough, Mass., a suburban community west of Boston. Read more »
This week I joined Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on a tour of North Carolina and Virginia to assess areas damaged by Hurricane Irene and to discuss ways USDA can help residents recover.
Secretary Napolitano and I had the opportunity to see farmland devastated by the hurricane as well as speak with first responders, local officials, and residents about recovery efforts. It was encouraging to see communities pulling together to recover from these devastating circumstances. Read more »