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544 DROUGHT EXTREME HEAT

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					                  SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT


5.4.4 DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT

This section provides a profile and vulnerability assessment for the drought and extreme heat hazards.

HAZARD PROFILE

This section provides profile information including description, extent, location, previous occurrences and
losses and the probability of future occurrences.

Description

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) of the National Weather Service (NWS) defines drought as a
deficiency of moisture that results in adverse impacts on people, animals, or vegetation over a sizeable
area (CPC, 2004). According to the 2008 New York State Hazard Mitigation Plan (NYS HMP), prepared
by the New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission (NYSDPC), drought is a normal, recurrent
feature of climate. Although its features vary from region to region, this hazard occurs almost
everywhere. Defining drought is therefore difficult; it depends on differences of regions, water supply
needs, and disciplinary perspectives. In general, drought originates from a deficiency of precipitation
over an extended period of time, resulting in a water shortage for some activity, group, or environmental
sector (NYSDPC, 2008). Other climatic factors, such as high temperatures, prolonged high winds and
low relative humidity, can aggravate the severity of a drought. These conditions are caused by anomalous
weather patterns when shifts in the jet stream block storm systems from reaching an area. As a result,
large high-pressure cells may dominate a region for a prolonged period, thus reducing precipitation.

The Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) indicates that the drought hazard differs from other
natural hazards in several ways. First, there is no universally accepted definition of drought. Second,
drought onset and recovery are usually slow. Third, droughts also can cover a much larger region and last
much longer than most other natural hazards. Lastly, they are a normal part of virtually any climate. Due
to these differences many communities have neglected to include this hazard in their disaster management
plans (ICLR, Date Unknown).

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NWS, there are four different
ways that drought can be defined or grouped:

    •   Meteorological drought is a measure of departure of precipitation from normal. It is defined
        solely on the degree of dryness. Due to climatic differences, what might be considered a drought
        in one location of the country may not be a drought in another location.
    •   Agricultural drought links various characteristics of meteorological (or hydrological) drought to
        agricultural impacts, focusing on precipitation shortages, differences between actual and potential
        evapotranspiration, soil water deficits, reduced ground water or reservoir levels, etc. It occurs
        when there is not enough water available for a particular crop to grow at a particular time.
        Agricultural drought is defined in terms of soil moisture deficiencies relative to water demands of
        plant life, primarily crops.
    •   Hydrological drought is associated with the effects of periods of precipitation (including
        snowfall) shortfalls on surface or subsurface water supply and occurs when these water supplies
        are below normal. It is related to the effects of precipitation shortfalls on stream flows and
        reservoir, lake and groundwater levels.
    •   Socioeconomic drought is associated with the supply and demand of some economic good with
        elements of meteorological, hydrological, and agricultural drought. This differs from the

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         aforementioned types of drought because its occurrence depends on the time and space processes
         of supply and demand to identify or classify droughts. The supply of many economic goods
         depends on weather (e.g., water, forage, food grains, fish, and hydroelectric power).
         Socioeconomic drought occurs when the demand for an economic good exceeds supply as a result
         of a weather-related shortfall in water supply.

Drought can produce a range of impacts that span many sectors of an economy and can reach beyond an
area experiencing physical drought. This complexity exists because water is integral to our ability to
produce goods and provide services. Direct impacts of drought (e.g. reduced crop yield, increased fire
hazard, reduced water levels, damage to wildlife and fish habitat) have cascading indirect impacts (e.g.
reduced income from a lack of crop production, increased prices due to a crop shortage, unemployment).
The many impacts of drought can be listed as economic, environmental, or social. Economic impacts
occur in agriculture and related sectors because of the reliance of these sectors on surface and subsurface
water supplies. Environmental impacts are the result of damage to plant and animal species, wildlife
habitat, and air and water quality, forest and grass fires, degradation of landscape quality, loss of
biodiversity and soil erosion. Social impacts involve public safety, health, conflicts between water users,
reduced quality of life and inequities in the distribution of impacts and disaster relief. A summary of
potential impacts associated with drought are identified in Table 5.4.4-1. This table includes only some
of the potential impacts of drought.

Table 5.4.4-1. Economical, Environmental and Social Impacts of Drought
             Economical                              Environmental                            Social
 • Loss of national economic             • Increased desertification - Damage   • Food shortages
    growth, slowing down of                to animal species                    • Loss of human life from food
    economic development                 • Reduction and degradation of fish      shortages, heat, suicides,
 • Damage to crop quality, less            and wildlife habitat                   violence
    food production/food shortage        • Lack of feed and drinking water      • Mental and physical stress
 • Increase in food prices               • Disease                              • Water user conflicts
 • Increased importation of food         • Increased vulnerability to           • Political conflicts
    (higher costs)                         predation.                           • Social unrest
 • Insect infestation                    • Loss of wildlife in some areas and   • Public dissatisfaction with
 • Plant disease                           too many in others                     government regarding drought
 • Loss from dairy and livestock         • Increased stress to endangered         response
    production                             species                              • Inequity in the distribution of
 • Unavailability of water and feed      • Damage to plant species, loss of       drought relief
    for livestock which leads to high      biodiversity                         • Loss of cultural sites
    livestock mortality rates            • Increased number and severity of     • Reduced quality of life which
 • Disruption of reproduction              fires                                  leads to changes in lifestyle
    cycles (breeding delays or           • Wind and water erosion of soils      • Increased poverty
    unfilled pregnancies)                • Loss of wetlands                     • Population migrations
 • Increased predation                   • Increased groundwater depletion
 • Increased fire hazard - Range         • Water quality effects
    fires and Wildland fires             • Increased number and severity of
 • Damage to fish habitat, loss            fires
    from fishery production              • Air quality effects
 • Income loss for farmers and
    others affected
 • Unemployment from production
    declines
 • Loss to recreational and tourism
    industry
 • Loss of hydroelectric power
 • Loss of navigability of rivers and
    canals
Source: Vora et al., 1998


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Droughts typically originate from, are accompanied by or exacerbated by extreme heat events or heat
waves. Generally, much of the available literature on extreme heat impacts combines heat and drought
into one climatological event. This is especially true of the work assessing the economic impacts. It is
often unclear if the effects are from a short duration heat wave or a longer term drought. In many cases
the two hazards are inextricably linked (Adams, Date Unknown). Therefore, although extreme heat
temperatures are identified in the NYS HMP as an individual hazard; for the purpose of this HMP and as
deemed appropriate by the County, drought and extreme heat temperatures have been grouped together.

Temperatures that hover 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region and last
for several weeks are defined as extreme heat (FEMA, 2006; CDC, 2006). An extended period of
extreme heat of three or more consecutive days is typically called a heat wave and is often accompanied
by high humidity (Ready America, Date Unknown; NWS, 2005). There is no universal definition of a
heat wave because the term is relative to the usual weather in a particular area. The term heat wave is
applied both to routine weather variations and to extraordinary spells of heat which may occur only once
a century (Meehl and Tebaldi, 2004). A basic definition of a heat wave implies that it is an extended
period of unusually high atmosphere-related heat stress, which causes temporary modifications in lifestyle
and which may have adverse health consequences for the affected population (Robinson, 2000). The
Weather Channel uses the following criteria for a heat wave in the U.S.: a minimum of 10 states with
greater then or equal to 90°F temperatures and the temperatures must be at least five degrees above
normal in parts of that area for at least two days or more (The Weather Channel, Date Unknown; NWS,
2005).

Depending on severity, duration and location; extreme heat events can create or provoke secondary
hazards including, but not limited to, dust storms, droughts, wildfires, water shortages and power outages
(FEMA, 2006; CDC, 2006). This could result in a broad and far-reaching set of impacts throughout a
local area or entire region. Impacts could include significant loss of life and illness; economic costs in
transportation, agriculture, production, energy and infrastructure; and losses of ecosystems, wildlife
habitats and water resources (Adams, Date Unknown; Meehl and Tebaldi, 2004; CDC, 2006; NYSDPC,
2008).

The most rigorously documented impacts of heat extremes are the human health impacts. Extreme heat
has been identified as a major cause of weather-related deaths and illnesses (Robinson, 2000). Some
sources indicate that extreme heat accounts for more reported deaths and illnesses annually in the U.S.
than hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and lightning combined (CDC, 2006). Vulnerable populations most
likely to succumb to extreme heat include, but are not limited to, the elderly, infants and young children
under five years of age, pregnant woman, the homeless or poor, the overweight and people with mental
illnesses, disabilities and chronic diseases. Based on 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, high risk
populations exist throughout Orange County, including the City of Port Jervis. Between 9.7 and 10.7-
percent of Orange County’s population is 65 years of age or older. Additionally, between 6.0 and 7.9-
percent of the County’s population is less than five years of age. Based on these statistics, Orange
County is identified as the 38th highest county in the State, for population most susceptibility to extreme
heat, reaching 16.7-percent. These statistics gathered from the NYS HMP provide useful information for
the Counties, when profiling extreme heat. It is important for local municipalities to investigate their
vulnerable population to gain an accurate assessment of the represented age groups (NYSDPC, 2008).

Urbanized areas and urbanization creates an exacerbated type of risk during an extreme heat event,
compared to rural and suburban areas. As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, urban areas are classified
as all territory, population, and housing units located within urbanized areas and urban clusters. The term
urbanized area denotes an urban area of 50,000 or more people. Urban areas under 50,000 people are
called urban clusters. The U.S. Census delineates urbanized area and urban cluster boundaries to
encompass densely settled territory, which generally consists of:

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    •    A cluster of one or more block groups or census blocks each of which has a population density of
         at least 1,000 people per square mile at the time.
    •    Surrounding block groups and census blocks each of which has a population density of at least
         500 people per square mile at the time.
    •    Less densely settled blocks that form enclaves or indentations, or are used to connect
         discontiguous areas with qualifying densities (U.S. Census Bureau, 2003).

Urban areas are created and further developed by the process of urbanization, which is the social process
whereby cities grow physically (increase in human populations and increase in building structures) and
societies become more urban. For a variety of factors, heat conditions in urbanized areas can significantly
increase or exacerbate hardships and health impacts amongst a larger human population; increase
environmental concerns (e.g. poor air quality) and create an increase in economic losses. The City of Port
Jervis demographics indicate that urban settings are common throughout the City based on population
density. Further information on heat-related concerns associated with urban areas is not deemed
necessary for the purpose of this HMP.

Extent

Drought

According to FEMA, the extent (e.g., magnitude or severity) of drought can depend on the duration,
intensity, geographic extent, and the regional water supply demands made by human activities and
vegetation. The intensity of the impact from drought could be minor to total damage in a localized area or
regional damage affecting human health and the economy. Generally, impacts of drought evolve
gradually and regions of maximum intensity change with time. The severity of a drought is determined
by area extent as well as intensity and duration. The frequency of a drought is determined by analyzing
the intensity for a given duration, which allows determination if the probability or percent chance of a
more severe event occurring.

The wide variety of disciplines affected by drought, its diverse geographical and temporal distribution,
and the many scales drought operates on make it difficult to develop both a definition to describe drought
and an index to measure it. Many quantitative measures of drought have been developed in the U.S.,
depending on the discipline affected, the region being considered, and the particular application. Several
indices developed by Wayne Palmer (Palmer Drought Severity Index [PDSI] and Crop Moisture Index
[CMI]), as well as the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), are the most useful for describing the many
scales of drought. Other indices include accumulated departure from normal streamflows, low-flow
frequency estimates and changes in water storage, groundwater levels and rates of decline, and lake
levels. Most commonly used indices used to measure or identify the severity and classification of past and
present droughts primarily include, but not limited to, the following:

NWS CPC - Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) / Crop Moisture Index (CMI): The PDSI developed
in 1965, indicates the prolonged and abnormal moisture deficiency or excess. The CMI gives the short-
term or current status of purely agricultural drought or moisture surplus and can change rapidly from
week to week. The PDSI is an important climatoligical tool for evaluating the scope, severity, and
frequency of prolonged periods of abnormally dry or wet weather. It can be used to help delineate disaster
areas and indicate the availability of irrigation water supplies, reservoir levels, range conditions, amount
of stock water, and potential intensity of forest fires. The CMI, developed in 1968, can be used to measure
the status of dryness or wetness affecting warm season crops and field activities (NWS CPC, 2005).




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The PDSI is most effective in determining long term drought, but not as effective with short-term
forecasts. It uses a 0 as normal, and drought is shown in terms of minus numbers. The PDSI can also
reflect excess rain using a corresponding level reflected by plus figures (Table 5.4.4-2). The CMI
responds more rapidly than the PDSI and can change considerably from week to week. CMI is designed
to indicate normal conditions at the beginning and end of the growing season and uses the same
classifications as the Palmer Drought (NOAA, Date Unknown).

Table 5.4.4-2. PDSI Classifications
              Palmer Classifications
      4.0 or more                extremely wet
      3.0 to 3.99                   very wet
      2.0 to 2.99               moderately wet
      1.0 to 1.99                 slightly wet
      0.5 to 0.99              incipient wet spell
     0.49 to -0.49                near normal
      -0.5 to -0.99            incipient dry spell
      -1.0 to -1.99              mild drought
      -2.0 to -2.99            moderate drought
      -3.0 to -3.99             severe drought
       -4.0 or less            extreme drought
Source: Hayes, 2006

NOAA-NCDC U.S. Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI): The SPI is an index based on the probability
of recording a given amount of precipitation, and the probabilities are standardized so that an index of
zero indicates the median precipitation amount (half of the historical precipitation amounts are below the
median, and half are above the median). The index is negative for drought, and positive for wet
conditions. As the dry or wet conditions become more severe, the index becomes more negative or
positive. The SPI is computed by NCDC for several time scales, ranging from one month to 24 months,
to capture the various scales of both short-term and long-term drought (Heim, 2005).

National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) (University of Nebraska / Lincoln) – U.S. Drought
Monitor: The NDMC produces a daily drought monitor map that identifies drought areas and ranks
droughts by intensity. It helps people and institutions develop and implement measures to reduce societal
vulnerability to drought, stressing preparedness and risk management rather than crisis management.
Most of the NDMC’s services are directed to state, federal, regional, and tribal governments that are
involved in drought and water supply planning. U.S. Drought Monitor summary maps are available from
May 1999 through the present and identify general drought areas and classification droughts by intensity
ranging from D1 (moderate drought) to D4 (exceptional drought). D0, drought watch areas, are either
drying out and possibly heading for drought, or are recovering from drought but not yet back to normal,
suffering long-term impacts such as low reservoir levels (Table 5.4.4-3). The Drought Monitor is
intended to provide a general and up-to-date summary of current drought conditions across the U.S.,
Puerto Rico, and the Pacific possessions. This national product is designed to provide the "big picture" so
the general public, media, government officials, and others can see what is happening around the country
(NDMC, 2007).

Drought Impact Reporter (DIR): The DIR is an interactive tool developed by the NDMC to collect,
quantify, and map reported drought impacts for the U.S. The DIR was created in response to the need for
a national drought impact database. A risk management approach to drought management, which

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strongly emphasizes improved monitoring and preparedness, requires timely information on the severity
and spatial extent of drought and its associated impacts. The information provided by the DIR will help
U.S. policy and decision makers identify what types of impacts are occurring and where (NDMC, 2007).

NOAA-NCDC North American Drought Monitor: The North America Drought Monitor (NA-DM) is a
cooperative effort between drought experts in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. to monitor drought across the
continent on an ongoing basis. The Drought Monitor concept was developed (jointly by the NWS, the
NDMC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Joint Agricultural Weather Center in the late 1990s) as a
process that synthesizes multiple indices, outlooks and local impacts, into an assessment that best
represents current drought conditions. The final outcome of each Drought Monitor is a consensus of
federal, state and academic scientists. Maps of U.S. droughts are available from this source from 2003 to
the present. As presented by the NDMC, drought intensity categories are based on six key indicators and
numerous supplementary indicators. Table 5.4.4-3 shows the ranges for each indicator for each dryness
level. Because the ranges of the various indicators often do not coincide, the final drought category tends
to be based on what the majority of the indicators show (NOAA-NCDC 2006).

Table 5.4.4-3. NDMC Drought Intensity Categories
                                                                  CPC
                                                                               USGS                       Satellite
                                                     Palmer        Soil                  Standardized
                                                                              Weekly                     Vegetation
 Category     Description     Possible Impacts       Drought     Moisture                Precipitation
                                                                            Streamflow                     Health
                                                      Index       Model                   Index (SPI)
                                                                                (%)                        Index
                                                                   (%)
                                     Going into
                                 drought: short-
                                   term dryness
                               slowing planting,
                              growth of crops or
                              pastures; fire risk
              Abnormally                             -1.0 to
    D0                          above average.                     21-30      21-30       -0.5 to -0.7     36-45
                 Dry                                   -1.9
                                  Coming out of
                                 drought: some
                                 lingering water
                              deficits; pastures
                               or crops not fully
                                     recovered.
                              Some damage to
                               crops, pastures;
                                   fire risk high;
                                       streams,
                                   reservoirs, or
               Moderate         wells low, some      -2.0 to
    D1                                                             11-20      11-20       -0.8 to -1.2     26-35
               Drought         water shortages        -2.9
                                  developing or
                                      imminent,
                                 voluntary water
                                 use restrictions
                                      requested
                                Crop or pasture
                               losses likely; fire
                                  risk very high;
                Severe                               -3.0 to
    D2                         water shortages                     6-10        6-10       -1.3 to -1.5     16-25
                Drought                               -3.9
                                common; water
                                     restrictions
                                       imposed
                                         Major
               Extreme             crop/pasture      -4.0 to
    D3                                                              3-5        3-5        -1.6 to -1.9      6-15
               Drought          losses; extreme       -4.9
                                    fire danger;


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                                                                                        CPC
                                                                                                      USGS                          Satellite
                                                                           Palmer        Soil                   Standardized
                                                                                                     Weekly                        Vegetation
 Category                           Description     Possible Impacts       Drought     Moisture                 Precipitation
                                                                                                   Streamflow                        Health
                                                                            Index       Model                    Index (SPI)
                                                                                                       (%)                           Index
                                                                                         (%)
                                                    widespread water
                                                      shortages or
                                                       restrictions

                                                     Exceptional and
                                                        widespread
                                                       crop/pasture
                                                          losses;
                                                      exceptional fire
                                    Exceptional     risk; shortages of     -5.0 or
                          D4                                                               0-2          0-2         -2.0 or less         1-5
                                     Drought              water in          less
                                                        reservoirs,
                                                       streams, and
                                                      wells, creating
                                                           water
                                                       emergencies
Source: NDMC, 2008
Note: Additional indices used, mainly during the growing season, include the USDA/NASS Topsoil Moisture, Crop Moisture
Index (CMI), and Keetch Byram Drought Index (KBDI). Indices used primarily during the snow season and in the West include
the River Basin Snow Water Content, River Basin Average Precipitation, and the Surface Water Supply Index (SWSI).

Extreme Heat Temperatures

The extent of extreme heat temperatures are generally measured through the Heat Index, identified in
Table 5.4.4-4. Created by the NWS, the Heat Index is a chart which accurately measures apparent
temperature of the air as it increases with the relative humidity. The Heat Index can be used to determine
what effects the temperature and humidity can have on the population (NYSDPC, 2008; NCDC, 2000)

Table 5.4.4-4. Heat Index Chart
                                                                                            O
                                                                            Temperature ( F)
             80     82  84    86                              88     90     92       94    96     98    100   102   104    106     108   110
         40  80     81  83     85                              88     91     94       97   101    105   109   114   119    124     130   136
         45  80     82  84     87                              89     93     96      100   104    109   114   119   124    130     137
         50  81     83  85     88                              91     95     99      103   108    113   118   124   131    137
  Relative Humidity (%)




         55  81     84  86     89                              93     97    101      106   112    117   124   130   137
         60  82     84  88     91                              95    100    105      110   116    123   129   137
         65  82     85  89     93                              98    103    108      114   121    128   136
         70  83     86  90     95                             100    105    112      119   126    134
         75  84     88  92     97                             103    109    116      124   132
         80  84     89  94    100                             106    113    121      129
         85  85     90  96    102                             110    117    126      135
         90  86     91  98    105                             113    122    131
         95  86     93 100 108                                117    127
        100  87     95 103 112                                121    132
Source: NCDC, 2000; NYSDPC, 2008

Table 5.4.4-5 describes the adverse effects that prolonged exposure to heat and humidity can have on an
individual.



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Table 5.4.4-5. Adverse Effects of Prolonged Exposures to Heat on Individuals
 Category                Heat Index                                      Health Hazards
 Extreme Danger        130 °F – Higher     Heat Stroke / Sunstroke is likely with continued exposure.
                                           Sunstroke, muscle cramps, and/or heat exhaustion possible with prolonged
 Danger                105 °F – 129 °F
                                           exposure and/or physical activity.
                                           Sunstroke, muscle cramps, and/or heat exhaustions possible with
 Extreme Caution        90 °F – 105 °F
                                           prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.
 Caution             80 °F – 90 °F         Fatigue possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.
Source: NYSDEC, 2008

To determine the Heat Index, one needs to know the temperature and relative humidity. Once both values
are known, the Heat Index will be the corresponding number with both values. That number provides a
temperature that the body feels. It is important to know that the Heat Index values are devised for shady,
light wind conditions. Exposure to full sunshine can increase the Heat Index by up to 15 degrees
(NYSDEC, 2008).

Location

The location of drought and extreme heat temperatures throughout New York State and City of Port Jervis
are further identified below.

Drought

Climate divisions are regions within a state that are climatically homogenous as possible. NOAA has
divided the U.S. into 359 climate divisions. The boundaries of these divisions typically coincide with the
county boundaries, except in the western U.S., where they are based largely on drainage basins (Energy
Information Administration, 2005).

According to NOAA, New York State is made up of ten climate divisions: Western Plateau, Eastern
Plateau, Northern Plateau, Coastal, Hudson Valley, Mohawk Valley, Champlain Valley, St. Lawrence
Valley, Great Lakes, and Central Lakes. Orange County is located within the Hudson Valley and Eastern
Plateau Climate Divisions (NOAA, Date Unknown). Figure 5.4.4-1 shows the climate divisions
throughout the U.S. and Figure 5.4.4-2 shows the climate divisions of New York State.




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Figure 5.4.4-1. Climate Divisions of the U.S.




Source: NOAA, Date Unknown
Note (1): The red circle indicates the approximate location of southeastern New York State
Note (2): 1 = Western Plateau; 2 = Eastern Plateau; 3 = Northern Plateau; 4 = Coastal; 5 = Hudson Valley;
          6 = Mohawk Valley; 7 = Champlain Valley; 8 = St. Lawrence Valley; 9 = Great Lakes; 10 = Central Lakes




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Figure 5.4.4-2. Climate Divisions of New York State




Source: CPC, 2005
Note: 1 = Western Plateau; 2 = Eastern Plateau; 3 = Northern Plateau; 4 = Coastal; 5 = Hudson Valley;
      6 = Mohawk Valley; 7 = Champlain Valley; 8 = St. Lawrence Valley; 9 = Great Lakes; 10 = Central Lakes

New York State is divided into nine drought management regions based roughly on drainage basin and
county lines. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) monitors
precipitation, lake and reservoir levels, stream flow, and groundwater level on a monthly basis in each
region and more frequently during periods of drought. NYSDEC uses this data to assess the condition of
each region, which can range from “normal” to “drought disaster” (NYSDEC, 2008). The NYSDEC
identifies Orange County and the City of Port Jervis as being location within Drought Management
Region II, Catskills Drought Region (Figure 5.4.4-3).




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Figure 5.4.4-3. NYSDEC Drought Management Regions of New York State




Source: NYSDEC, 2008

All of Orange County is susceptible to drought. Areas at particular risk include certain areas with elderly,
impoverished, or otherwise vulnerable populations; and agricultural resources which require the abundant
use of ample water supply to thrive.

An adequate water supply for the residents and businesses of the City of Port Jervis is a critical need.
Water is provided by reservoirs owned by the Port Jervis Water District. This district serves the
population of the City of Port Jervis through 3,300 service connections. In 2006, the total amount of
water produced by the district was 328 million gallons. The daily average of water treated and pumped
into the distribution system was 1.0 million gallons per day (City of Port Jervis, 2006).

The City of Port Jervis obtains its water supply from a watershed of approximately 3,000 acres, with the
lower 2,000 acres owned by the City. Within the watershed, there are three interconnected reservoirs –
Reservoir #1, Reservoir #2 and Reservoir #3. Reservoir #1 is located at the head of the water filtration
plant on Reservoir Road in the City. This reservoir has a storage capacity of 71 million gallons and
surface area of 22 acres. Reservoir #2 is located on Huguenot Brook in the Town of Deerpark. This
reservoir has a storage capacity of 209 million gallons and a surface area of 35 acres. Reservoir #3 is the
largest of the three reservoirs and is located on Sparrowbush Brook. It has a storage capacity of 292
million gallons and a storage area of 75 acres (City of Port Jervis, 2006). There is a fourth reservoir, used
in emergencies. It has a storage capacity of 70 million gallons (City of Port Jervis, 2009).

In addition, a small pond is found within this watershed. This pond is a natural tributary to Reservoir #2.
A diverter in the outlet of this pond permits outflow to Reservoir #3. The drainage area above the


        DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                              5.4.4-11
        August 2009
                   SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT


diverter, which is a tributary to Reservoirs #2 and #3, is 1.14 square miles in size. The water that is
drawn from Reservoir #1 is treated with ozone direct filtration at the filtration plant in the City of Port
Jervis (City of Port Jervis, 2006).

Extreme Heat Temperatures

Extreme heat temperatures of varying degrees are existent throughout the State for most of the summer
season, except for areas with high altitudes. Figure 5.4.4-4 identifies the average July temperatures of the
State, with the southeast and northwest sections experiencing the hottest conditions.

Figure 5.4.4-4. Average Statewide July Temperatures




Source: World Book Inc., 2008

The New York State Climate (NYSC) Office of Cornell University indicates that the summer climate in
the State is generally cool in the higher elevations of the Northern Plateau (Adirondack Mountains) and
Eastern Plateau (Catskill Mountains) climate divisions, which are depicted on Figure 5.4.4-2. The New
York City area (Coastal climate division) and lower portions of the Hudson Valley climate division have
rather warm summers by comparison, with some periods of high, uncomfortable humidity. The
remainder of New York State, which encompasses the Mohawk Valley climate division, experiences
warm summers with occasional, brief intervals of extreme heat. Average summer daytime temperatures
usually range from the upper 70’s to mid-80’s over much of the State (NYSC, Date Unknown). The 10
climate divisions of the State are identified in Figure 5.4.4-2: Western Plateau (1), Eastern Plateau
(Catskill Mountains) (2), Northern Plateau (Adirondack Mountains) (3), Coastal (4), Hudson Valley (5),
Mohawk Valley (6), Champlain Valley (7), St. Lawrence Valley (8), Great Lakes (9), and Central Lakes
(10) (NOAA, Date Unknown).

As provided by The Weather Channel, a range of average high and low temperatures during the summer
months in the City of Port Jervis are identified in Table 5.4.4-6.




         DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                             5.4.4-12
         August 2009
                  SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT

Table 5.4.4-6. Average High and Low Temperature Range for Summer Months in the City of Port Jervis
      Month           Average High           Average Low             Record High Event(s)
                              O                     O                        O
       May                 71 F                  46 F                      94 F (1996)
                              O                     O                        O
       June                79 F                  55 F                      94 F (1984)
                              O                     O                         O
       July                83 F                  60 F                     100 F (1995)
                              O                     O                         O
     August                81 F                  59 F                     100 F (2001)
                              O                     O                        O
    September              74 F                  51 F                      95 F (1983)
Source: The Weather Channel, Date Unknown

Previous Occurrences and Losses

A number of sources provided historical information regarding previous occurrences and losses
associated with drought events or periods and extreme heat temperatures throughout New York and
Orange County, including the City of Port Jervis. With the multitude of sources reviewed for this HMP,
loss and impact information for many events could vary. Therefore, the accuracy of monetary figures
shown here are based on the available information. at the time of the research.

According to the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC), the Hudson Valley and Eastern Plateau
Climate Divisions (which encompasses Orange County and the City of Port Jervis) has experienced many
drought periods between 1908 and 1999. These drought periods are identified in Table 5.4.4-7 and
illustrated in Figure 5.4.4-5.

Table 5.4.4-7. Hudson Valley and Easter Plateau Climate Divisions - Drought Events between 1908 and 2002
          Drought Periods                      Duration                   Lowest PDSI
     September – November 1895                 3 months             -3.54 in October 1895

     November – December 1899                  2 months            -3.55 in November 1899

     August 1900 – February 1901               7 months             -3.79 in October 1900

   November 1908 – January 1909                3 months            -4.77 in December 1908

  November 1909 – December 1909                2 months            -4.84 in December 1909

     July 1910 – September 1911               15 months               -4.31 in July 1911

        April 1911 – July 1911                 4 months               -4.02 in May 1911

      August – September 1913                  2 months           -3.41 in September 1913

      October – December 1914                  3 months            -3.72 in November 1914

          April – June 1915                    3 months               -3.21 in May 1915

     November – December 1916                  2 months            -3.15 in December 1916

   September 1921 – February 1922              6 months             -3.99 in October 1921

     November – December 1922                  2 months            -3.65 in December 1922

      May 1923 – January 1924                  9 months           -4.23 in September 1923

       August 1930 – June 1931                11 months            -5.68 in December 1930

   December 1930 – January 1931                2 months            -3.15 in December 1930

     August 1939 – February 1940               7 months             -4.31 in January 1940


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                   SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT


            Drought Periods                      Duration                     Lowest PDSI
     October 1941 – February 1942                5 months             -3.76 in November 1941

         April 1942 – May 1942                   2 months                   -3.12 in April 1942

    October 1949 – December 1949                 3 months             -3.97 in December 1949
    August 1957 – November 1957                  4 months             -3.54 in November 1957

    October 1963 – December 1963                 3 months              -3.74 in October 1963

      May 1964 – September 1966                  29 months            -6.66 in November 1964

       October – November 1966                   2 months              -3.06 in October 1966
     January 1967 – February 1967                2 months              -3.13 in January 1967
         April 1985 – May 1985                   2 months                   -3.38 in April 1985
    August 1995 – September 1995                 2 months            -3.14 in September 1995
   December 2001 – February 2002                 3 months             -3.60 in February 2002
Source: NRCC, 2006
Note: Based on the monthly Palmer Drought Severity Index as computed by the NCDC.
Period of record: January 1895 through March 2006
PDSI = Palmer Drought Severity Index

Figure 5.4.4-5. Palmer Drought Severity Index, 1895-1995, Percent of Time in Severe and Extreme Drought




Source: Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), 2006
Note: The red circle indicates the approximate location of Orange County.

Based on all sources researched, many notable drought periods or dry conditions and extreme heat events
have impacted Orange County and the City of Port Jervis, between 1761 and 2008, and are summarized in
Table 5.4.4-8. Since most drought and extreme temperature events generally affect a larger region than
other types of natural hazards and are less localized in terms of their impact, County specific information
regarding losses or impacts associated with many identified droughts or extreme heats was limited or not
reported for the City of Port Jervis.


         DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                                  5.4.4-14
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                                                                 SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT

Table 5.4.4-8. Drought and Extreme Heat Events Between 1761 and 2006 in Orange County and the City of Port Jervis

         Event Date / Name                         Location                                 Losses / Impacts                             Source(s)

                                                                           A severe drought hit the northeast U.S. According to
                                                                             the Letter Book of John Watts from New York City,
              Drought                                                     provisions of all kinds were scarce. Food for livestock
                                                Northeast U.S.                                                                             Ludlum
            1761 – 1762                                                    was scarce. Drought continued for two years. Watts
                                                                          stated that this was the most severe drought that was
                                                                                             ever known in the area.
                                                                           A damaging drought struck the Delaware Valley and
             Drought                                                      surrounding areas. For six weeks, there was only one
                                                 Multi-County                                                                          New York Times
          September 1874                                                    rain event. Crops were destroyed. Rivers had little
                                                                              water flowing. Fires broke out due to lack of rain.
                                                                               Little rain fell in June and July, causing drought
              Drought
                                                 Multi-County                 conditions for the month of August. During these             Ludlum
            August 1894
                                                                                summer months, only 4.62 inches of rain fell.
                                                                                Reservoir levels in the Port Jervis area were
                                                                           extremely low. It was said that it would require long
             Drought
                                                     EPCD                 and heavy rains to fill them. Farmers suffered, losing    NRCC, New York Times
    September – November 1895
                                                                          many crops. The Delaware River was at a record low.
                                                                                    Lowest PDSI of -3.54 in October 1895s
               Drought
                                                     EPCD                       Lowest PDSI of -3.35 in November 1899                      NRCC
    November – December 1899
               Drought
                                                     EPCD                         Lowest PDSI of -3.79 in October 1900                     NRCC
    August 1900 – February 1901
               Drought                                                      Lowest PDSI of -3.50 in December 1908 (HVCD)
                                                 HVCD, EPCD                                                                                NRCC
   November 1908 – January 1909                                             Lowest PDSI of -4.77 in December 1908 (EPCD)
               Drought
                                                     EPCD                       Lowest PDSI of -4.84 in December 1909                      NRCC
    August 1909 – January 1910
               Drought
                                                     HVCD                       Lowest PDSI of -3.61 in December 1909                      NRCC
    November – December 1909
               Drought
                                                     EPCD                           Lowest PDSI of -4.31 in July 1911                      NRCC
    July 1910 – September 1911
               Drought
                                                     HVCD                         Lowest PDSI of -3.20 in October 1910                     NRCC
    October 1910 – January 1911
               Drought
                                                     HVCD                           Lowest PDSI of -4.02 in May 1911                       NRCC
          April – July 1911
                                                                            Record maximum temperatures were set in many
                                                                           areas in the northeast U.S. Many locations had two
             Heat Wave
                                                Northeast U.S.              weeks of temperatures above 90°F. Central Park           Ludlum, History.com
             July 1911                                                                                               th
                                                                          broke records on two different days: July 6 with 98°F
                                                                                       th
                                                                           and July 11 with 97°F. The mean temperature for


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        August 2009
                                                              SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT



      Event Date / Name                         Location                                         Losses / Impacts                 Source(s)

                                                                                nd          th
                                                                       July 2        – July 6 was 86.8°F. In New York City, 211
                                                                                          people died from the heat.
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                          Lowest PDSI of -3.41 in September 1913             NRCC
   August – September 1913
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                          Lowest PDSI of -3.72 in November 1914              NRCC
   October – December 1914
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                                Lowest PDSI of -3.21 in May 1915             NRCC
       April – June 1915
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                          Lowest PDSI of -3.15 in December 1916              NRCC
  November – December 1916
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                           Lowest PDSI of -3.99 in October 1921              NRCC
September 1921 – February 1922
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                          Lowest PDSI of -3.65 in December 1922              NRCC
  November – December 1922
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                          Lowest PDSI of -4.23 in September 1923             NRCC
   May 1923 – January 1924
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                          Lowest PDSI of -5.68 in December 1930              NRCC
   August 1930 – June 1931
            Drought
                                                  HVCD                          Lowest PDSI of -3.15 in December 1930              NRCC
 December 1930 – January 1931
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                          Lowest PDSI of -3.66 in December 1931              NRCC
  November – December 1931
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                           Lowest PDSI of -4.31 in January 1940              NRCC
  August 1939 – February 1940
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                               Lowest PDSI of -3.30 in June 1941             NRCC
       May – June 1941
            Drought
                                                  EPCD                               Lowest PDSI of -3.93 in April 1942            NRCC
  September 1941 – April 1942
            Drought
                                                  HVCD                          Lowest PDSI of -3.76 in November 1941              NRCC
 October 1941 – February 1942
            Drought
                                                  HVCD                               Lowest PDSI of -3.12 in April 1942            NRCC
       April – May 1942
            Drought
                                                  HVCD                          Lowest PDSI of -3.97 in December 1949              NRCC
   October – December 1949
            Drought
                                                  HVCD                          Lowest PDSI of -3.54 in November 1957              NRCC
   August – November 1957
         Extreme Heat                                                     Extreme heat struck Orange County, causing
                                               Countywide                                                                         SHELDUS
       April 20-22, 1963                                                   approximately $35 K in property damage.
            Drought
                                                  HVCD                           Lowest PDSI of -3.74 in October 1963              NRCC
   October – December 1963


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     August 2009
                                                            SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT



    Event Date / Name                         Location                                Losses / Impacts                          Source(s)

          Drought
                                                HVCD                       Lowest PDSI of -6.66 in November 1964                 NRCC
May 1964 – September 1966
          Drought
                                                EPCD                       Lowest PDSI of -5.99 in November 1964                 NRCC
August 1964 – February 1966
          Drought
                                                EPCD                         Lowest PDSI of -3.62 in August 1966                 NRCC
    July – August 1966
          Drought
                                                EPCD                        Lowest PDSI of -3.06 in October 1966                 NRCC
 October – November 1966
          Drought                                                       Lowest PDSI of -3.13 in January 1967 (HVCD)
                                            HVCD, EPCD                                                                           NRCC
  January – February 1967                                               Lowest PDSI of -3.17 in February 1967 (EPCD)
          Drought
                                                HVCD                          Lowest PDSI of -3.38 in April 1985                 NRCC
     April – May 1985
                                                                          A drought that struck Orange County had
          Drought
                                             Countywide              approximately $17 K in property damage and $1.7 M          SHELDUS
       June 13, 1988
                                                                                      in crop damage.
                                                                          A drought that struck Orange County had
          Drought
                                             Countywide              approximately $17 K in property damage and $167 K          SHELDUS
         July 1988
                                                                                      in crop damage.
       Extreme Heat
                                             Countywide                    Approximately $2 K in property damage.               SHELDUS
      July 4-11, 1988
          Drought
                                             Countywide                   Approximately $185 K in property damage.              SHELDUS
    June – August 1991
                                                                                              th
          Drought                                                     October 1994 was the 7 driest month on record at
                                              Statewide                                                                         NYSDPC
       October 1994                                                                         Albany.
                                                                       Many water restrictions across eastern New York
         Drought
                                            Multi-County             State. Crops were hit hard. Private drinking wells ran   NYSDPC, NRCC
  June – September 1995
                                                                           dry. Lowest PDSI of -3.14 in September.
         Drought
                                                EPCD                         Lowest PDSI of -3.63 in August 1995                 NRCC
 August – September 1995
                                                                     Extremely hot and humid air mass covered the region
                                                                                                         th
                                                                       during this time period. On July 4 , temperatures
                                                                     were in the mid to upper 90s. The high temperatures
                                                                      and moderate humidity caused most heat indices to
                                                                                                            th
                                                                       range from 100 to 105°F. On July 5 , many new
        Heat Wave
                                            Multi-County             maximum temperatures records were set throughout           NYSDPC
      July 4 – 7, 1999
                                                                     the New York City metropolitan area. The heat killed
                                                                     33 people in the New York City area: 14 in Brooklyn,
                                                                        13 in Manhattan, 3 in Queens, 2 in Westchester
                                                                      County, and 1 in Bronx. More then 200,000 people
                                                                          were without power in northern Manhattan.


   DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                                                                           5.4.4-17
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                                                                    SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT



          Event Date / Name                          Location                                  Losses / Impacts                                       Source(s)

                                                                                A Bermuda high pressure brought hot temperatures
                                                                              and high humidity across the region. The six-day heat
               Extreme Heat                                                   wave brought record high temperatures to many parts.
                                                        Multi-County                                                                           NYSDPC, The Weather Channel
           August 8 – 10, 2001                                                    As the temperatures rose, so did the demand for
                                                                              electricity, causing power outages. This event caused
                                                                                                     four fatalities.
                                                                               Combined water storage at the New York City water
                                                                                supply reservoir system was 41-percent of capacity
                  Drought                                                          (normal is 71-percent during this time of year).
                                                   EPCD, Multi-County                                                                          NYSDPC, NRCC, NOAA-NCDC
    November 2001 – January 2002                                                Lowest PDSI of -3.28 in December 2001. NYSDEC
                                                                                     issued a drought watch for Orange, Putnam,
                                                                                         Rockland, and Westchester Counties.
                                                                               Groundwater and water storage facilities were below
                                                                                normal. New York City reservoir system reached a
                                                                                low of 64.5-percent. New York City reservoir levels
                  Drought                                                              were 34-percent below normal capacities.
                                                        Multi-County                                                                                NYSDPC, NOAA-NCDC
          April – October 2002                                                     Groundwater levels were at record lows. Water
                                                                                  conservation declarations were made across the
                                                                               region. Orange County was placed under a drought
                                                                                              warning by the NYSDEC.
                                                                                Temperatures reached the mid to upper 90s across
               Extreme Heat                                                    the region. As many as 20,000 homes were without
                                                        Multi-County                                                                                NYSDPC, NOAA-NCDC
             July 2 – 4, 2002                                                   electricity. Brownouts were reported throughout the
                                                                                           New York City metropolitan area.
                                                                                                                          th
                                                                              An eight day heat wave began July 29 and continued
                                                                                                 th
                                                                              through August 5 . Temperatures rose to the mid and
                                                                                                             st
               Extreme Heat                                                    upper 90s through July 31 . The high temperatures
                                                        Multi-County                                                                                     NOAA-NCDC
        July 29 – August 5, 2002                                                combined with humidity produced heat indices from
                                                                                                         th
                                                                               100 to 105°F on July 29 and between 95 and 100°F
                                                                                                            th         st
                                                                                                 on July 30 and 31 .
                                                                                Three consecutive days of excessive heat occurred
                                                                                       throughout the area, brining 90 to 100 °F
               Extreme Heat                                                       temperatures. The heat caused 42 fatalities and
                                                        Multi-County                                                                                        NYSDPC
             August 1-3, 2006                                                       scattered power outages in the New York City
                                                                                 metropolitan area. Record temperatures were set
                                                                                                throughout the region.
Note (1): This table does not represent all events that may have occurred throughout the County due to a lack of detail and/or their minor impact upon the County.
Note (2): Monetary figures within this table were U.S. Dollar (USD) figures calculated during or within the approximate time of the event. If such an event would occur in the
present day, monetary losses would be considerably higher in USDs as a result of increased U.S. Inflation Rates.
CPC           Climate Prediction Center                                                         M             Million ($)
K             Thousand ($)                                                                      NCDC          National Climate Data Center


         DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                                                                                               5.4.4-18
         August 2009
                                                                 SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT

NOAA      National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
NRCC      Northeast Regional Climate Center
NYS       New York State
NYSDEC    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
NYSDPC    New York State Disaster Preparedness Commission
PDSI      Palmer Drought Severity Index
SHELDUS   Spatial Hazard Events and Losses Database for the United States




      DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                                              5.4.4-19
      August 2009
                    SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT


Further descriptions of particular drought events and extreme heat temperature events that have impacted
the City of Port Jervis are provided below for selected events where details regarding their impact were
available. These descriptions are provided to give the reader a context of the severe storm events that
have affected the County and to assist local officials in locating event-specific data for their
municipalities based on the time and proximity of these events. Monetary figures within the following
event descriptions were U.S. Dollar (USD) figures calculated during or within the approximate time of
the event (unless present day recalculations were made by the sources reviewed). If such an event would
occur in the present day, monetary losses would be considerably higher in USDs as a result of inflation.

October 1994: According to the NRCC, October 1994 was an exceptionally dry month in the
northeastern U.S., reported as the 4th driest October in 100 years (since 1895 when drought recording
began). All twelve states in the Northeast reported less than half of the normal October precipitation
(NRCC, 1994). According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC), rainfall deficits exceeded 8
inches in many locations, with water shortages of 15 to 20 inches along the Atlantic Seaboard and New
York State. Drought watches were issued in the lower Hudson River Valley, the Catskills, the Hudson
Mohawk region, and the New York City metropolitan area.

Based on information provided by CPC, Orange County was reported for having more then a 12 inch
deficit during this time (Figure 5.4.4-6) (CPC, 1995). Cost estimates of property damage or losses in the
City of Port Jervis were unavailable in the materials reviewed to develop this plan.

Figure 5.4.4-6. NOAA – Departure from Normal Precipitation – October 1994




Source: CPC, 1995
Note: Orange County and the City of Port Jervis are listed for having rainfall deficits fewer than 12 inches between October
1994 and August 1995.

         DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                                                 5.4.4-20
         August 2009
                    SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT


June 1995 – September 1995: Drought conditions in the Northeast U.S. intensified through the month
of June and into early July. New York State and New England were found to have the driest conditions
during June. Most places received less than 60 percent of their normal monthly rainfall. The twelve
states that make up the Northeast had a combined average of 70 percent of normal June precipitation
amount, resulting in the 14th driest June in the last 101 years of record (NRCC, 1995). Rainfall amounts
from February through June ranged from 64 percent of normal in New York State to 88 percent normal in
West Virginia. This was the driest period event in New York State. Since March 12, most areas recorded
less than 75 percent of normal precipitation. Some localized sections of New York State, lower New
England, and the eastern Mid-Atlantic, observed under half of normal precipitation. During the period of
March 12 through August 29, 16 to 23 inches of rain typically fall on the Northeast and eastern Mid-
Atlantic (Figure 5.4.4-7). However, during this period, 10 to 15 inches of rain was measured at most
locations for this 171-day period.

Figure 5.4.4-7. Percent of Normal Precipitation – March 12 – August 29, 1995




Source: CPC, 1995
Note: Orange County and the City of Port Jervis are under 50-percent of normal precipitation for this period – March 12 –August
29, 1995

Much of the northeast U.S. experienced mild to extreme drought conditions during this summer. The lack
of rain affected lawns, gardens, shrubbery, crops, water supplies, and livestock. The second half of
August was especially dry. This was the sixth driest August on record in the Northeast overall. August
was the seventh consecutive month that had precipitation below normal. This seven-month period is the
driest New York State has seen in 101 years. The summer of 1995 was the eighth hottest on record for
the Northeast. For New York State, this summer was the sixth warmest (NRCC, 1995).


         DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                                              5.4.4-21
         August 2009
                    SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT


According to the drought severity index, issued by NOAA, Orange County and the City of Port Jervis
were under severe and extreme drought conditions (Figure 5.4.4-8). Cost estimates of property damage or
losses in the City of Port Jervis were unavailable in the materials reviewed to develop this plan.

Figure 5.4.4-8. Drought Severity Index - August 26, 1995




Source: CPC, 1995
Note: Red indicates -4.0 or less (Extreme Drought); the City of Port Jervis is under severe drought conditions

July-August 2006 Heat Wave (“2006 North American Heat Wave”): The 2006 North American Heat
Wave spread throughout most of the U.S. and Canada beginning July 15th. It brought extremely high
temperatures across most of the affected areas. Between July 23rd and July 29th, the extreme heat was
concentrated on the west coast and southwest deserts. During this period, California reported 164
fatalities. Between July 29th and August 4th, the heat wave moved eastward, causing more fatalities as it
traveled. From August 4th to August 27th, high temperatures persisted in the south and southeast U.S
(Fleury, 2008).

As the temperatures increased, there was a greater demand for electricity. Power transformers were
damaged and southern California experienced some of the worse blackouts. Many areas had buckled
roadways and ruptured water lines. The heat dried up crops and killed livestock. In the more populated
areas, smog covered the areas and ozone standards were exceeded. The heat wave killed over 200 people
nationwide. At least 160 in California, 21 in Chicago, 37 in New York City, 12 in Missouri, and 10 in
Oklahoma (Fleury, 2008).



         DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                                         5.4.4-22
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                  SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT


With the extreme heat, there was also a shortage on rainfall. According to NOAA, 51-percent of the U.S.
was in moderate to extreme drought conditions. This was seen mainly in the Plains and southeast U.S.
The dry conditions caused an outbreak of wildfires in the Rockies and along the west coast (Fleury,
2008).

On August 1st, a heat emergency was declared for New York City by Mayor Bloomberg. Businesses and
residents were urged to conserve energy to help prevent a city-wide blackout. The New York City
metropolitan region was under a heat warning. Temperatures in the City and Westchester County were
expected to climb to 101 °F (Cardwell and Chan, 2006).

As presented by NOAA, statewide rankings were assigned for the coolest (1) and warmest (112)
temperatures during this time period (Figure 5.4.4-9). New York received a ranking of 103. Cost
estimates of property damage or losses in the City of Port Jervis were unavailable in the materials
reviewed to develop this plan.

Figure 5.4.4-9. July 2006 Statewide Temperature Ranks (1 to 112)




Source: NCDC, 2006

Probability of Future Events

Occasional drought is a normal, recurrent feature of virtually every climate in the U.S., including New
York State. However, due to growing water needs from natural population growth; adverse consequences
from drought are likely to increase in the future. As indicated by the NYSDEC, New York State is rich
with water resources, with streams, lakes, rivers and coasts fed by an average annual precipitation that
ranges from 60 inches in the Catskills to 28 inches in the Lake Champlain Valley. However, even in New
York State’s "temperate moist" climate, normal fluctuations in regional weather patterns can lead to
periods of dry weather and precipitation deficiencies throughout the state, including the City of Port Jervis
(NYSDEC, Date Unknown).

Earlier in this section, the identified hazards of concern for the City were ranked. Based on historical
records and input from the Planning Committee, the probability of occurrence for drought events in the

        DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                              5.4.4-23
        August 2009
                  SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT


City is “Frequent”. It is estimated that the City of Port Jervis will continue to experience drought events
annually that may induce secondary hazards such as water shortages, crop losses, human health impacts,
utility failure.

Also, several extreme heat events of varying degrees occur each year throughout New York State,
including the City of Port Jervis. It is anticipated that the State will continue to experience heat events
annually, particularly during summer months. However, the severity of future extreme heat events is
expected to vary from county to county within the State, as a result of topography, geographical
conditions, the potential impact of future climate change and other factors.

The Role of Global Climate Change on Future Probability

Global climate change poses risks to human health and to the earth’s ecosystems. The agriculture,
forestry and fishery industries, along with water resources, all may be affected by global climate change.
Warmer temperatures, more severe droughts and floods, and sea level rise could have a wide-range of
impacts. These stresses can add to existing stresses on resources, such as population growth, land use
changes, and pollution (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [USEPA], 1997).

Climate is not only defined as average temperature and precipitation, but is also defined by the type,
frequency, and intensity of weather events. Human-induced climate change has the potential to alter the
occurrence and severity of extreme heat waves, cold waves, storms, floods, and droughts. Understanding
vulnerabilities to changes in these extreme events is a crucial part of estimating future climate change
impacts on human health, society and the environment (USEPA, 2006).

According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), there has been new research
conducted on the relationship between changes in ocean sea-surface temperatures and long term drought
conditions, where scientists believe that long-term droughts might be linked. For example, to relatively
slow but persistent changes in Pacific and Atlantic Ocean sea-surface temperatures (possibly linked to
global warming). However, this is a scientific theory that requires more research to be conducted to
understand the causes of long-term droughts and to develop the ability to predict such droughts
(USGCRP, 1999).

If climate change is a factor, as indicated by the USEPA and USGCRP, increased droughts, along with
many other hazard events, are to be expected throughout the U.S. A warmer atmosphere can hold more
moisture and evaporate more water from the surface. This can intensify drought conditions and increase
the risk of wildfire. Many researchers agree that a warmer world will have greater hydrologic extremes.
There is a basic imbalance that develops as the climate warms, between the loss of moisture from the soil
and replenishment by precipitation. Land has a smaller heat capacity then the ocean, so it warms more
quickly. In a warmer climate, precipitation will not increase as rapidly as evaporation due to the fact that
oceans warm more slowly then land surface. Therefore, more droughts are anticipated in a warmer
climate, but the specific locations of these droughts are somewhat uncertain (USGCRP, 1999).

Local studies regarding climate change and its affects to City of Port Jervis have not been found.
However, if scientific predictions are accurate and based on the regional studies that have been done for
New York State and its surrounding states, it is anticipated that the City of Port Jervis is no exception and
will experience a change in temperatures in the future, which will determine the overall severity of
drought conditions within the City.




        DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                              5.4.4-24
        August 2009
                  SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT



VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT

To understand risk, a community must evaluate what assets are exposed or vulnerable in the identified
hazard area. For drought and extreme heat events, the entire City has been identified as the hazard area.
The following text evaluates and estimates the potential impact of the drought/extreme heat hazard on the
City including:

•   Overview of vulnerability
•   Data and methodology used for the evaluation
•   Impact, including: (1) impact on life, safety and health of City residents, (2) general building stock,
    (3) critical facilities, (4) economy, and (5) future growth and development
•   Further data collections that will assist understanding of this hazard over time
•   Overall vulnerability conclusion

Overview of Vulnerability

Essentially, all of the City of Port Jervis is vulnerable to drought and extreme heat. However, areas at
particular risk are areas where elderly, impoverished or otherwise vulnerable populations are located. The
City of Port Jervis is prepared for drought events with emergency back-up potable water supplies and a
system for non-potable water use (“blue hydrant system”) in place.

Data and Methodology

Data was collected from HAZUS-MH MR3, City, County and Planning Committee sources. At the time
of this HMP, insufficient data was available to model the long-term potential impacts of a drought or
extreme heat event on the City. Over time additional data will be collected to allow better analysis for
this hazard. Available information and a preliminary assessment are provided below.

Impact on Life, Health and Safety

For the purposes of this HMP, the entire population in the City is vulnerable to drought and extreme heat
events. Droughts conditions can cause a shortage of water for human consumption and reduce local fire-
fighting capabilities. The New York State HMP also lists mental and physical stress as social impacts of
a drought (NYSDPC, 2005).

The infirm, young, and elderly are particularly susceptible to drought and extreme temperatures.
According to the CDC, populations most at risk to extreme heat events include the following: 1.) the elderly,
who are less able to withstand temperatures extremes due to their age, health conditions and limited mobility
to access shelters; 2.) infants and children up to four years of age; 3.) individuals who are physically ill (e.g.,
heart disease or high blood pressure), 4.) low-income persons that cannot afford proper cooling; and 5.) the
general public who may overexert during work or exercise during extreme heat events (CDC, 2006).

Meteorologists can accurately forecast extreme heat event development and the severity of the associated
conditions with several days of lead time. These forecasts provide an opportunity for public health and
other officials to notify vulnerable populations, implement short-term emergency response actions and
focus on surveillance and relief efforts on those at greatest risk (EPA, 2006).

Table 5.4.4-9 summarizes the population over the age of 65 and individuals living below the Census
poverty threshold.

        DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                                    5.4.4-25
        August 2009
                    SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT

Table 5.4.4-9. Vulnerable Population Exposed to Drought/Extreme Heat Events in the City of Port Jervis
                                                          Number of Persons               Percent of Total County
             Population Category                             Exposed                            Population
         Elderly (Over 65 years of age)                           1,350                            15.2
             Persons living below
                                                                  1,540                            17.4
           Census poverty threshold*
   Elderly (Over 65 years of age) living below
                                                                    137                             1.5
            Census poverty threshold
Source: U.S. Census, 2000
* The Census poverty threshold for a three person family unit is approximately $15,000.

Due to a lack of data regarding past impacts on life and safety specific to the City of Port Jervis, it is not
possible to estimate potential future losses to drought or extreme temperature events.

Impact on General Building Stock

No structures are anticipated to be directly impacted by a drought or extreme heat event. However,
droughts and extreme heat events contribute to conditions conducive to wildfires and reduce fire-fighting
capabilities. Risk to life and property is greatest in those areas where forested areas adjoin urbanized
areas (high density residential, commercial and industrial) or wildland/urban interface (WUI).

Impact on Critical Facilities

It is expected that critical facilities will continue to be operational during a drought or extreme heat event.

Impact on the Economy

A prolonged drought or extreme heat event can have a serious economic impact on a community.
Increased demand for water and electricity may result in shortages and a higher cost for these resources
(FEMA, 2005). Industries that rely on water for business may be impacted the hardest. Even though
most businesses will still be operational, they may be impacted aesthetically. In addition, droughts in
another area could impact the food supply/price of food for residents. Specific economic monetary losses
associated with drought and/or extreme heat events were not identified for the City of Port Jervis.

The City of Port Jervis is prepared for drought events with emergency back-up potable-water supplies in
place. The City of Port Jervis Department of Public Works Water Department is in charge of treating and
delivering potable drinking water to the City. As mentioned earlier in the profile, the City of Port Jervis
obtains its water supply from three interconnected reservoirs within the 3,000-acre watershed– Reservoir
#1, Reservoir #2 and Reservoir #3 (City of Port Jervis, 2006). There is a fourth reservoir, used in
emergency situations when water supplies are low (City of Port Jervis, 2009).

When a drought is impacting the City and their reservoir-levels are low, there is an emergency pumping
station that pumps water from the Neversink River into the Reservoir #1. This pumping station was
upgraded with hard-piping from the Neversink River up Hamilton Street to Reservoir #1. The State
Health Department’s approval is needed before being used. This emergency pumping station has been
utilized in the past and has been helpful in fire fighting as well (Planning Committee, 2009).

A “blue hydrant system” is established in the City where water from the Neversink River is used for non-
potable water purposes as part of the City’s fire hydrant system (Farr, 2009). In emergency situations,
the City can contract with state DEP to use tankers (Planning Committee, 2009).


         DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                                       5.4.4-26
         August 2009
                  SECTION 5.4.4: RISK ASSESSMENT – DROUGHT / EXTREME HEAT


To mitigate, the City has installed water meters and encourages all customers to follow water
conservation measures at all times. Waster Conservation recommendations and requests are included in
the City’s Annual Water Quality Report (City of Port Jervis, 2006). During drought events, the City
issues water-use restrictions beginning with residents, then carwashes and businesses (Planning
Committee, 2009).

Future Growth and Development

As discussed in Section 4, areas targeted for future growth and development have been identified across
the City. Future growth could impact the amount of potable water available due to a drain on the
available water resources.

Additional Data and Next Steps

Historic data available indicate that droughts and extreme heat events can impact the City of Port Jervis.
Additional information regarding localized concerns and past impacts will be collected and analyzed.
This data will be developed to support future revisions to the Plan. The lead State Agency for drought
preparedness is the NYSDEC.

Overall Vulnerability Assessment

Historic data available indicate that drought and extreme heat events affect the City of Port Jervis.
Drought events can cause significant impacts and losses to the City’s water supply and economy. The
overall hazard ranking for the City of Port Jervis determined by the Planning Committee for the drought
hazard is “low” with a “frequent” probability of occurrence (Tables 5.3-3 and 5.3-6). The cascade effects
of drought include increased susceptibility to the wildfire hazard, increased and thus shortages on local
resources (i.e., water supply, electricity).




        DMA 2000 Hazard Mitigation Plan – City of Port Jervis, New York                            5.4.4-27
        August 2009

				
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