Virginia State and Locality Responses to Hurricane Affected Areas in August-September 2017, According to Governor’s News Release on September 22, 2017

On September 22, 2017, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe authorized the Virginia National Guard to send 120 soldiers to the U.S. Virgin Islands as part of the response efforts among several states and agencies to Hurricane Maria and earlier to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Following is an excerpt from the Governor’s Office news release on the Virgin Islands deployment; the excerpt also includes information on deployment by state agencies and local response teams to other areas for previous storms in 2017.

Except Begins

Governor McAuliffe today has authorized the Virginia National Guard to send 120 soldiers to the U.S. Virgin Islands to join a multi-state, multi-agency response effort to recent hurricanes.  The Commonwealth of Virginia continues to send needed supplies, personnel and expertise into the storm-ravaged areas to assist with recovery and give emergency managers on the ground a rest from the relentless demands of their jobs helping others deal with these catastrophic events.

An advance team arrived in the region on September 18, 2017, just before Hurricane Maria made landfall.  The 120 soldiers authorized today are assigned to the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and will deploy in the next week as the mission command headquarters to synchronize the response and coordinate logistical support.  Up to 400 additional soldiers are scheduled to follow soon after to conduct humanitarian assistance, clear roads, and distribute essential supplies to citizens.  Virginia National Guard soldiers will be deployed on the ground by the U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp to get assistance where it is most needed. …

Virginia has coordinated 10 missions of aid to these regions [listed below], not including countless assistance efforts coordinated by religious and non-profit organizations based in Virginia.  The largest single mission is readying to deploy this week, including the hundreds of Virginia National Guard personnel deploying to the Virgin Islands to assist with the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. …Since Hurricane Harvey struck Texas last month, Virginia has been providing emergency management and response assistance across the southeastern portions of the nation.  Missions can be coordinated through federal partners such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), or through a cooperative agreement between states called the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), through which impacted states can input their needs for assistance and other states can quickly mobilize resources to meet those needs.  Logistics and financial reimbursement are then coordinated through the EMAC system. …

*In late August, the Virginia National Guard sent approximately 40 soldiers and six helicopters to Texas to assist with Hurricane Harvey recovery operations, and after transporting medical personnel and supplies, they safely returned to Virginia in early September.

*On September 18, a joint incident management team comprised of 15 individuals from across the Commonwealth deployed to assist with emergency operations center management in Monroe County, Florida (Florida Keys).  The team will provide command and control support in the region through early October.

*A Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) volunteer coordinator is currently working in Texas to assist with coordination of thousands of volunteers arriving in the area through non-profit and religious organizations.  This mission is slated to continue through the end of September.

*Roanoke’s 17-person Strike Team 6 deployed to Texas on August 30and spent more than a week conducting water rescues of civilians trapped in the rising flood waters from Hurricane Harvey.

*The 14-person Fairfax Task Force 1 deployed to Texas on a mission organized by the federal government to assist in swift water rescues of civilians from August 27 to September 6.

*Virginia Beach Virginia Task Force 2 deployed to Texas to assist in federal government organized assistance, providing swift water rescue support through September 5.

*A blended incident management team comprised of emergency managers from across the Commonwealth deployed to Texas from September 1 to September 9 to provide emergency management command and control support.

*Virginia’s Task Force 2 from Virginia Beach deployed to Puerto Rico under a federal response effort to provide on-the-ground emergency response support for both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.  Personnel originally deployed September 4 in anticipation of Irma, and 16 additional personnel were deployed on September 7 to address the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria.

*Virginia’s Task Force 1 from Fairfax deployed to Alabama September 6 to provide immediate on the ground support following the impacts of Hurricane Irma.

*The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Restoration and Cleanup Strike Team deployed to Florida in late August to assist with on-the-ground cleanup efforts from Hurricane Irma.

To learn how to help those who have been affected by the recent natural disasters please visit

Excerpt Ends

Source: Governor McAuliffe Authorizes National Guard to Deploy Significant Force to U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia Governor’s Office News Release, 9/22/17.

Safe Wastewater Use in Agriculture is Focus of 2016 United Nations Publication

Safe Use of Wastewater in Agriculture: Good Practice Examples was published in 2016 by the United Nations (UN) University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources.  Part of UN efforts begun in 2011 to focus on the use of wastewater in agriculture, the book presents 17 case studies of good practices from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  The book is available online (direct link to PDF at

Adapt Virginia Web Portal on Climate Change Adaptation Released in Summer 2017

In Summer 2017, the Adapt Virginia Web portal on climate adaptation was announced by the Virginia Institute or Marine Science’s Center for Coastal Resources Management (CCRM).  The Web site is  According to that site, Adapt Virginia (AdaptVA) “is a gateway to information for individuals, local programs, and agencies engaged in climate adaptation.  AdaptVA focuses on the physical and social vulnerabilities by integrating the best available science, legal guidance, and planning strategies.  Visitors will find legal and policy resources, stories that explain adaption through maps and pictures, a searchable web catalogue, and mapping tools that address short and long-term predictions for rising water levels.”  The site’s content currently covers forecasts, adaptations, tools, maps and data, and planning and policy.

Virginia Sea Grant Fellowship Opportunities – Application Deadlines in November and December 2017

Virginia Sea Grant is offering or facilitating the following fellowship opportunities for students or post-graduates.  The main Web site for the opportunities is; or contact Virginia Sea Grant at Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 363 Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062; (804) 684-7269.  Specific online sites are listed below for each opportunity.

1) Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship.  Deadline to apply is December 8, 2017.  Fellowship begins in summer 2018.  For graduate students close to completing their degree (Masters, Ph.D., or J.D.) in a coastal- or marine-related or relevant field at a Virginia university or college, and for graduates who recently completed their degree at a Virginia university or college (graduating in the spring semester 2017 or after).  More information is available online at;

2) 2019 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.  Deadline to apply is November 28, 2017.  The one-year fellowship period is expected to begin February 1, 2019.  This nationwide fellowship is for graduate students with an interest in marine, coastal, or Great Lakes resources and in related national policy.  An eligible applicant is any student, regardless of citizenship, who, on February 21, 2018, is enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program with an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.  More information is online at

3) Clark Nexsen Coastal Resilience Research Fellowship.  Deadline to apply not yet determined (as of 9/21/17).  This is a paid summer fellowship focused on coastal resiliency, open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students who have research experience or training in areas including, but not limited to engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, resilient design, urban planning, and/or coastal flooding adaptation strategies.  More information is online (as a PDF) at

4) Graduate Research Fellowship.  Deadline to apply is November 16, 2017.  Anticipated start date is September 1, 2018.  The fellowship provides up to $40,000 per year, requiring a 50-percent match, to students enrolled in a full-time graduate or professional degree program at a Virginia academic institution prior to the award of the fellowship, no later than Fall 2018.  Students may be working toward a degree in any discipline as long as they are engaged in research that is coastal- or marine-related and relevant to the mission and strategic plan of Virginia Sea Grant.  More information is online at

In October 2017, Virginia Sea Grant will hold on-campus information sessions about these opportunities, as follows:
George Mason University – October 18;
James Madison University – October 11;
Old Dominion University – October 16;
University of Virginia – October 13;
Virginia Commonwealth University – October 9;
Virginia Institute of Marine Science – October 6;
Virginia Tech – October 10.

Virginia Water-related Government Meetings for Sep. 21-Oct. 4, 2017

For more information, click on underlined meeting dates. Click here for the Commonwealth Calendar listing of all government meetings open to the public, and here for the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall listing of all government meetings of a regulatory nature.

For other, non-governmental, events, please see the Water Central News Grouper post, Quick Guide to Virginia Water-related Events.


9/21/17, 9:30 a.m.: Air Pollution Control Board.  At the Department of Environmental Quality Main Office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond.

9/21/17, 10 a.m.: Board of Conservation and Recreation.  In the Water’s Edge Meeting Facility at Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin (Pulaski County).

9/21/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Health’s Waterworks Advisory Committee.  At Sydnor Hydro, Inc., 2111 Magnolia Street in Richmond.

CANCELLED9/22/17, 10 a.m.: Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority.  In House Room 1 of the Capitol Building, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

9/26/17, 9:30 a.m.: Marine Resources Commission.  At 2600 Washington Avenue in Newport News.

9/26/17, 11 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board.  At Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, 4201 Dominion Boulevard in Glen Allen (Henrico County).

9/28/17, 9 a.m.: Outdoors Foundation Board of Trustees.  Location to be determined, as of 9/20/17.

10/3/17, 2 p.m.: Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Marine Products Board.  At the Virginia Insitute of Marine Science, Building 56-Watermen’s Hall, 1375 Greate Road in Gloucester Point (Gloucester County).

10/4/17, 10 a.m.: Board for Waste Management Facility Operators.  At the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, Board Room 4, 9960 Mayland Drive in Richmond.

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For meetings of legislative committees and commissions, see  Links to information about General Assembly commissions, councils, and special interim committees coordinated by the Division of Legislative Services are available online at

None during this period.

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For more information about TMDLs in Virginia, click here for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality TMDL Web site; click on “Public Notices” in the menu to the left to access upcoming meetings and public-comment periods.  A search tool to find approved TMDL reports is available at

10/3/17, 1:30 p.m., and 10/3/17, 6 p.m., on the TMDL implementation plan for bacterial impairments in the Birch Creek and Dan River watersheds (including the following tributaries: Big Toby Creek, Byrds Branch, Cane Creek, Cascade Creek, Double Creek, Fall Creek, Germy Creek, Lawless Creek, Lawsons Creek, Miry Creek, Powells Creek, Pumpkin Creek, Sandy Creek, Sandy River, Stewart Creek, Stokes Creek, Sugartree Creek, Tanyard Creek, and an unnamed tributary to Birch Creek), located in the Roanoke River watershed in Halifax and Pittsylvania Counties and the City of Danville.  The 1:30 p.m. meeting is of the Government Working Group; the 6 p.m. meeting is of the Agricultural and Residential Working Groups.  Both meetings at Danville Regional Airport, East Conference Room, 424 Airport Drive in Danville.

10/4/17, 2 p.m., on modification of the 2002 TMDL studies for aquatic life (benthic) and bacterial impairments in Blacks Run and Cooks Creek, located in the Shenandoah River/Potomac River wateshed in Rockingham County and the City of Harrisonburg.  At the Department of Environmental Quality Valley Regional Office, 4411 Early Road in Harrisonburg.

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(topics listed alphabetically)

9/27/17, 10 a.m.: Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Pollinator Protection Advisory Committee.  In House Room 1 of the Capitol Building, 1000 Bank Street in Richmond.

Biosolids (Treated Sewage Sludge) Land-application Permit Requests
9/21/17, 6 p.m.: On the permit application by Houff’s Feed & Fertilizer Co., Inc., of Weyers Cave, Va., to land-apply biosolids to about 858 additional acres in Rockbridge County.  At the Rockbridge County Administration Building-Cooperative Extension Office, 150 South Main Street in Lexington.

Coastal Flooding
9/25/17, 1 p.m.: Joint Subcommittee to Formulate Recommendations to Address Recurrent Flooding.  In Room W011 of the Pocahontas Building, 900 East Main Street in Richmond.  The subcommittee was created by the 2014 Virginia General Assembly (HJR 16 and SJR 3) to make recommendations for a comprehensive planning effort to address recurrent flooding in Virginia’s Tidewater and Eastern Shore, particularly as climate change is expected to increase extreme weather events.  Information on the work of this subcommittee is available from the Division of Legislative Services, online at; and in a July 23, 2014, news release from the chair of the subcommittee, Del. Chris Stolle (R-83rd) of Virginia Beach, online at

Land and Watershed Management
10/3/17: 10 a.m.: Soil and Water Conservation Board’s Conservation Planning Stakeholder Advisory Group.  At Pocahontas State Park, Powhatan Banquet Hall, 10301 State Park Road in Chesterfield (Chesterfield County).  According to the notice for this meeting, “[o]n December 7, 2016, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board authorized the Department [of Conservation and Recreation] to establish a stakeholder advisory group (SAG) for the Conservation Plan Program.  The SAG will provide guidance and offer recommendations into the resources to be considered, components of a plan, training and certification requirements, and other policy and Program considerations.”

9/25/17 and 9/26/17 – Virginia Port Authority meetings.  9/25/17, 1 p.m.: Investment Committee;  9/25/17, 2 p.m.: Growth and Operations Committee; 9/25/17, 4 p.m.: Finance and Audit Committee; 9/25/17, 5 p.m.: Executive Committee; 9/26/17, 9 a.m.: Board of Commissioners.  All at 600 World Trade Center, 101 West Main Street in Norfolk.

River Basin Advisory Committees and Commissions
9/27/17, 1 p.m.: Rappahannock River Basin Commission.  At Lake of the Woods Clubhouse, 205 Lakeview Parkway in Locust Grove (Orange County).  The Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly (see Va. Code section 62.1-69.27) to “provide guidance for the stewardship and enhancement of the water quality and natural resources of the Rappahannock River Basin.”  More information on the work of the Commission is available online at

Scenic Rivers
9/21/17, 12 p.m.: Historic Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board.  At City Hall in Richmond.

9/21/17, 4 p.m.: Catoctin Creek Scenic River Advisory Committee.  At the Purcellville Library, 220 East Main Street in Purcellville (Loudoun County).

9/27/17, 10 a.m.: House Bill 1774 Stormwater Workgroup/Subcommittee 2 (Tiered Approaches).  At the William & Mary Law School, 613 South Henry Street in Williamsburg.  On 9/29/17, 9 a.m., the full House Bill 1774 Stormwater Workgroup meets at the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission, 9211 Forest Hill Avenue, Suite 200, in Richmond.  According to the Virginia Legislative Information System, House Bill 1774 in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly “directs the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency to convene a work group to consider alternative methods of stormwater management in rural Tidewater localities. …The group is to be facilitated by the Virginia Coastal Policy Center at William and Mary Law School and is to include representatives of institutions of higher education, state agencies, local governments, private industry, and other groups.  The…work group is to review and consider the creation of rural development growth areas, the development of a volume credit program, the payment of fees to support regional best management practices, and the allowance of the use of stormwater in highway ditches to generate volume credits.  …The bill also delays from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2018, the effective date of new stormwater laws enacted during the 2016 Session of the General Assembly.”  The work group is to report to the governor and the General Assembly by January 1, 2018.

Water Quality Regulations and Standards
9/28/17, 3 p.m.: public hearing.  State Water Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on reissuance and possible amendments to the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) general permit for discharges from petroleum contaminated sites, groundwater remediation, and hydrostatic tests.  At the DEQ Central Office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond.  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-120.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published May 30, 2016.  According to the NOIRA, the “general permit covers point source discharges of wastewaters from sites contaminated by petroleum products [or by] chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, and also the point source discharges of hydrostatic test wastewaters resulting from the testing of petroleum and natural gas storage tanks and pipelines.”  More information on the process of this regulatory action is available online at

9/28/17, 3 p.m.: State Water Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on proposed amendments to the general Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) general permit for wastewater discharges from potable water-treatment plants.  At the DEQ Central Office, 629 East Main Street in Richmond.  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-860.  More information about this regulation is available online at

9/28/17, 3 p.m.: State Water Control Board/Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) public hearing on reissuance and proposed amendments to the Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) general permit for non-contact cooling water discharges of 50,000 gallons per day or less.  At the DEQ Piedmont Regional Office, 4949-A Cox Road in Glen Allen (Henrico County).  The relevant section of the Virginia Administrative Code is 9 VAC 25-196.  The Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) was published May 30, 2016.  More information on this regulation is available online at

Virginia Precipitation and Stream Flow for the 7-day Period Ending September 19, 2017, Plus an Overview of Flooding Nationwide and Mid-Month Drought Assessment

Below are several items summarizing recent precipitation and stream flow:

  1. Images showing precipitation in Virginia and other areas of the United States, and stream flow in Virginia, over the seven-day period ending September 19, 2017 (information available as of September 20).
  2. An excerpt from the Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force’s latest statewide assessment on September 18, 2017 and a map showing the status of several drought indicators in different Virginia regions, as of September 19.
  3. Flooding overview maps for Virginia and nationwide, as of September 20.

The Virginia Water Resources Research Center thanks the agencies mentioned below for providing precipitation and stream-flow information and images. For the current month’s other weekly reports on stream flow and precipitation, please see the News Grouper posts available at this link:

For monthly reviews of precipitation, stream flow, and drought, please see the posts available at this link:

For more information on current and historical surface-water and groundwater conditions in Virginia, please see the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Virginia Science Center’s Web site,

GAGE Sep 2017 Wolf Creek near Narrows Sep4 2017 TWO

September 2017 Gaging Station of the Month: Wolf Creek near Narrows (Giles County), September 4, 2017. For the Virginia map of gaging sites, see


The following two color-coded maps show southeastern U.S. precipitation amounts (top map) and the percent of normal precipitation compared to normal for this period of the year (bottom map) over the seven-day period ending September 19, 2017.  As of that date, these data were provisional (needing to be verified for accuracy and subject to possible revision).  The maps were accessed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Southeast Regional Climate Center, located at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; online at

precip Sep9precipperc Sep19

Another source of precipitation data is the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, online at  The site provides maps showing precipitation nationwide or by state for specific days, months, or years.  The site also has the capability to show county boundaries, and other map layers available include river flood forecasts and current flood/severe weather warnings.  Shown below is the continental U.S. 7-day precipitation map as of 8 a.m. EDT on 9/20/17.  The impact of Hurricane Irma on the southeastern United States is clear from this graph.  Please note that UTC, the time shown on the maps at the site, is four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time and five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Precip US Sep20

Stream Flow

Seven-day-average Virginia stream flows at gaging stations as of September 19, 2017 are indicated in the map below, from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) WaterWatch for Virginia, accessed online at  The map’s color-coded dots compare the previous week’s average stream flows to the normal flow levels for that week over the historical record for each gaging station.  The color codes/percentile classes used by USGS are as shown in the chart following the map.  Note: Additional gaging stations (such as for reservoirs or for inactive sites) are shown on maps available at the USGS’ National Water Information System Mapper, online at

Streams Sep19

stream codes

Flooding Overview

As of about 11:55 a.m. EDT on September 19, 2017, 18 stream-gaging stations in or near Virginia were either experiencing flooding or near flood stage, according to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service’s (AHPS) map of stream and river levels relative to flood stage (color-coded) for Virginia and nearby areas.  The AHPS map for Virginia is shown below, along with the nationwide map as of the same time.  The maps are available online at; at that site, one can select Virginia or any other state of interest.

Flooding 01 USFlooding 02 US

Mid-month Drought Status Update

The Virginia Drought Monitoring Task Force (DMTF), a collaboration of state and federal agencies, issued its latest Virginia drought-status report on September 18, 2017.  The report is available at the DMTF Web site,  The Task Force was scheduled to meet again on October 12, 2017.

Following is an excerpt from the September 18  report:

“Normal to below-normal temperatures prevailed across much of Virginia during the latter part of August and early September.  Precipitation amounts during this same period were highly variable.  Stream flow gaging stations reported flows that were generally within the normal range (between the 25th and 75th percentiles); with some stations in scattered locations across central, southern and western Virginia reporting below-normal flows.  Most of the wells in the Virginia Climate Response network of groundwater level observation wells were reporting normal to above-normal levels, except for the wells in central Virginia, which continued to report below normal levels.  The DMTF agreed to recommend continuing the existing Drought Watch in the Northern Piedmont region, based upon a forecast for above-normal temperatures, below-normal precipitation and the continuing low groundwater levels with consequent potential for low base flows.

“For the current water year (October 1, 2016–September 15, 2017) precipitation totals remained below the drought watch indicator level for precipitation (85% of normal) for one of Virginia’s thirteen drought evaluation regions.  The Northern Piedmont region received 83% of normal precipitation for the current water year.”

The Task Force also produces a map rating drought-status indicators.  Shown below is the map for September 19, 2017.  The status-indicator abbreviations on that map are as follows: GW = groundwater levels, Prcp = precipitation deficits, Res = reservoir storage, and Flow = stream flow conditions.  For each region of Virginia, the indicators are color coded for “normal,” “watch,” “warning,” or “emergency conditions.”  Any given day’s current map and more information on drought status in Virginia are available the Task Force Web site,
Drought VA

National Hurricane Center’s Graphical Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook for 2 Days and 5 Days, as of September 18, 2017 – Hurricanes Jose and Maria Having Impacts, with TD Lee in the mid-Atlantic

Here’s a look at the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) Atlantic tropical weather outlook for the next few days.  The Virginia Water Central News Grouper posts these outlooks approximately weekly (depending on the level of weather activity) during the Atlantic tropical storm season (June 1-November 30).

As of 2 p.m. EDT on September 18, 2017, the center of Hurricane Jose (Category 1 at the time) was located about halfway between the North Carolina coast and the island of Bermuda; the storm was expected to bring strong currents, ocean swells, substantial rainfall, and possibly tropical-storm-force winds to the much of the U.S. East Coast through Friday, September 22.  The center of Hurricane Maria (Category 3 at the time) was over the Caribbean’s Leeward Island and was predicted to remain a major hurricane and move along those islands and over Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas by Saturday, September 23.  And Tropical Depression Lee was in the mid-Atlantic and was predicted to stay in that general area through September 22.

Shown below are the NHC’s two-day and five-day graphical tropical weather outlooks as of 2 p.m. EDT on September 18, accessed at

Tropical Storms 2 day Sep18tropical storms 5 day Sep18