Flooding threatens more than a million private wells in U.S. Midwest

Michael Burke
The Hill
Tue, 26 Mar 2019 11:42 UTC

Flooding in the Midwest is posing a risk of contamination to more than 1 million private wells that supply drinking water to rural areas in the region, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The AP reported that the National Ground Water Association, a trade group, said there are 1.1 million private wells in 300 flooded counties across 10 states in the Midwest.

Those states are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to the AP.

Flooding creates the possibility that water from the flood will get into the wells and contaminate the water.

map wells

Flooding creates the possibility that water from the flood will get into the wells and contaminate the water.

Liesa Lehmann, the private-water section chief for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, told the AP that any wells within a flood area “are certainly going to be vulnerable to contamination.”

“Anyone who has a private well within a flood plain area of a major river, those wells are certainly going to be vulnerable to contamination,” Lehmann said.

Lehmann added that well owners should assume that their drinking water is contaminated if they see floodwater near or over their wells.

Chuck Job, the National Ground Water Association’s regulatory affairs manager, told the AP that when the flooding is over, the well water should be pumped out and the well should be disinfected. The water should then be tested to ensure that it’s safe to drink, Job added. (Click to Source)

 
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Let’s talk about food SHORTAGE: US grain bins collapse under catastrophic Iowa floods

After millions of dead calves in Nebraska, now thousands of tons of grain lost in Iowa! Flood waters are causing havoc in some mid-western states – Iowa; Illinois; Missouri; Kansas; South Dakota; Minnesota; and Nebraska – and have resulted in an estimated $3 billion in damages so far. The video below by Iowa resident Gracie Newman shows just a fraction of the losses that have been incurred as a result of the unprecedented flooding.

As can be seen from the video, at this location alone, at least five bins have burst, destroying thousands of tons of grain.

Rising water levels have breached levees along the Missouri River and forced several towns to evacuate.

It was also reported that in the state of Nebraska (west of Iowa) the flooding has already caused more than $1 billion in damages, with more than 2,000 homes and 340 businesses lost.

Missouri Bin Collapse

In a separate incident, a grain bin which was reportedly holding 21,591t – or 850,000 bushels – of corn collapsed in the state of Missouri, in the early hours of Monday, March 11.

GRAIN BIN

The grain was washed onto a nearby road and also blocked a railway line once its container’s walls split. No one was injured in the incident, which happened at a Bunge plant in LaGrange, Missouri. (Click to Source)

Residents Outraged as DHS Spraying Town With Chemicals—Using Them as Human Guinea Pigs

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By Jay Syrmopoulos

A planned chemical/biological test by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has residents of a small Oklahoma town in fear that they are being used as human guinea pigs, as the federal government prepares to carry out plans for biological testing in the area next month.

DHS announced plans to conduct chemical and biological testing near the border between Kansas and Oklahoma in January and February, and again in June and July, to determine how much protection people would receive from being inside a house or an apartment in the event of a biological terrorist attack, according to a statement on the Homeland Security website.

The DHS press release notes:

The study is part of the Department’s ongoing commitment to preparedness and the shared responsibility of protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure. The purpose of this study is to gather data that enhances our predictive capabilities in the event of a biological agent attack. Specifically, this work will help in predicting the extent to which an intentional release of a biological agent may penetrate single family and multi-family structures. These tests will release inert chemicals and biological materials that will be used to measure the amount of material that penetrates the buildings under varied conditions.

“This helps responders and emergency managers decide how to respond and save lives. It helps in planning for evacuations…and other tactics,” John Verrico, DHS’s science and technology directorate spokesman, said in an email to Newsweek. “It also helps us to understand how materials settle and stick to surfaces.”

Verrico claims that no one has been injured or adversely affected by chemical tests performed by Homeland Security.

Contrary to the assertions of Verrico, area residents dispute that the chemicals are harmless to humans, animals, and the environment, and are working to stop the planned biological/chemical tests.

A resident of a nearby town, Jill Wineinger, collected almost 9,000 signatures on a petition to block the testing after Homeland Security placed a legal notice inviting the public comment about the tests during a 30-day open comment period.

“We just don’t really know or trust that everything that they’re saying is what they’re doing,” Wineinger told Newsweek.

DHS is reportedly reviewing approximately 300 comments received by email from the public before deciding whether to go forward with the testing, according to Verrico.

The chemical agents DHS plans to use in the testing are titanium dioxide, fluorescent brightener, urea, and Dipel, an insecticide.

“I’m really sorry that everyone is so afraid in Newkirk because these are very benign products,” Kitty Cardwell, a professor at Oklahoma State University and director of the National Institute of Microbial Forensics for Food and Agricultural Biosecurity, who has been involved in other Homeland Security projects, told Newsweek.

Cardwell believes the chemicals are non-toxic at that minuscule amount and likely wouldn’t reach populated areas.

Interestingly, while Cardwell and the U.S. government claim the chemicals used in the testing won’t adversely impact human health or the environment, the EU has proposed to classify titanium dioxide as a carcinogen—meaning that it is suspected of causing cancer – specifically when inhaled.

Wineinger disputes the idea that these substances are harmless, noting that she’s allergic to urea and could be hospitalized if she’s exposed to it. She also expressed concern about individuals with asthma and fears the area’s crops could be contaminated by the chemicals.

“It could saturate our homes and it could saturate our water supply,” Wineinger said.

Kansas Congressman Ron Estes, in response to the planned chemical and biological testing, said federal agencies, “need to be 100 percent certain this test is safe for the residents of south-central Kansas,” noting that he has “numerous questions.”

Estes serves on the Houses Committee on Homeland Security, and in a statement released on Thursday, said that he is “monitoring the situation very closely.”

“I have numerous questions regarding this proposed test,” Estes said. “While it’s important for our federal agencies to test their abilities in response to threats, we need to be one hundred percent certain this test is safe for the residents of south-central Kansas.”

One comment on Wineinger’s petition presciently asked, “Why not test it in a more likely area to be hit by an attack, like NYC?”

Maybe because people there have the money and clout to protect themselves from our [government]. An Indian school in the middle of nowhere. Yeah, just like the Tuskegee syphilis study. No one who matters gets hurt.

The chemicals will be released at the now-abandoned Chilocco Indian School.

“The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male” is a notorious secret research experiment conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service in Alabama from 1932 to 1972 involving 600 African American men.

Researchers conducted the study without participants’ consent as a means of tracking the progression of the deadly sexually transmitted disease—and participants received no treatment. Disgustingly, those unfortunate human guinea pigs were instead monitored until they died and then examined post-mortem.

The idea that citizens are being subjected to a potentially dangerous situation by DHS, without consent, certainly raises some serious questions as to the methodology being employed.

Please share this article to raise awareness about chemical/biological testing being carried out on an unsuspecting American public! (Click to Source)

Calif. governor proclaims state in a drought

LOS ANGELES –  California is nearly as dry as it’s ever been. High water marks rim half-full reservoirs. Cities are rationing water. Clerics are praying for rain. Ranchers are selling cattle, and farmers are fallowing fields.

Gov. Jerry Brown formally proclaimed a drought Friday, saying California is in the midst of perhaps its worst dry spell in a century. He made the announcement in San Francisco amid increasing pressure from lawmakers and as firefighters battled flare-ups in a Southern California wildfire that chased thousands of people from their homes.

Unless the state gets significant rainfall in the next two months, television sets glowing with wildfires could play like reruns throughout the year.

Reservoir levels in the north and central parts of the state were more depleted than in Southern California, but Brown still asked Los Angeles to do its part to conserve — and gave a nod to the politics of water in the vast state.

“The drought accentuates and further displays the conflicts between north and south and between urban and rural parts of the state. So, as governor, I’ll be doing my part to bring people together and working through this.”

Farmers and ranchers in the nation’s No. 1 farm state already are making hard choices to conserve. Some cities are in danger of running out of water. And the first snow survey of the winter found more bare ground than fluffy white stuff — a key barometer of future supply.

“I am a fifth-generation cattle rancher, and it has never been this bad ever in my lifetime — and from my family’s history, it’s never been anywhere close to this bad ever,” said Kevin Kester, 58. He said his family’s records show the area’s worst drought previously was in the 1890s.

Kester’s Central California ranch normally gets 20 inches of rain between October and April. It’s gotten about a half-inch of precipitation since late fall. His cattle usually graze on lush green hillsides in winter. Now, they’re eating hay instead — a proposition that is too expensive to continue for long.

“I hope it’s something we can tell our great-grandkids about, but right now we’re just trying to figure out how we’re going to survive,” he said.

The drought doesn’t bode well for California’s notorious wildfire season, either.

Previous super-dry years led to catastrophic wildfire seasons in California in 2003 and 2007, said Tom Scott, a natural resources specialist with the University of California system. Fire crews beat back a wildfire southeast of Los Angeles earlier this week, but it was a stark reminder of the dry and dangerous conditions.

“People say that the fire season is starting early, but I guess you could say it never ended,” Scott said. “If you live in the backcountry, come July you probably should be thinking about putting your valuables in storage.”

Droughts also are persisting or intensifying elsewhere in the U.S.

On Wednesday, federal officials said they were designating portions of Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Oklahoma and California as primary natural disaster areas, highlighting the financial strain facing farmers in those regions.

Even in the moist Pacific Northwest, things were a little bit drier.

In Seattle, rainfall dropped by nearly 70 percent in December, with just 1.66 inches falling. Ski resorts are opening several weeks late, and a Bavarian-themed town in the Cascade Mountains had to modify its annual “ice fest” because there isn’t enough snow on the ground for activities. A plan to truck in snow was scrapped with high temperatures forecast this weekend.

And despite heavy flooding in Colorado in September, large portions of Colorado and Wyoming are abnormally dry, while ranchers on the plains of southeastern Colorado have severe drought conditions.

In California, the governor’s drought declaration will help battle unemployment in the agriculture industry as fields are left fallow.

Nearly 10,000 people lost their jobs during the last drought in 2009, said Karen Ross, California’s agriculture secretary. The drought also increases the burden on food banks in rural and agricultural communities.

The lack of rain also could have long-standing implications for the demand for crops that are almost entirely exclusive to California.

Eighty percent of the world’s almonds, for example, are grown in California, and the Almond Board of California receives 3 cents for every pound sold to build future demand for the nut. With many almond growers having to irrigate their crops three months early, a smaller crop might put a dent in the board’s ability to market almonds as broadly as it has been, said David Phippen, an almond grower who serves on the board.

“There’s huge implications everywhere you look,” he said. “What about five years down the road?”

Click to http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/01/17/calif-governor-proclaims-state-in-drought/