February 1994 ice storm: forest resource damage assessment in northern Mississippi

Author(s): Jacobs, Dennis M.

  • Date: 2000
  • Source: Resour. Bull. SRS-54. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 11 p.
  • Station ID: RB-SRS-054

Description:

During February 8­11, 1994, a severe winter storm moved from Texas and Oklahoma to the mid-Atlantic depositing in northern Mississippi a major ice accumulation of 3 to 6 inches. An assessment of forest resource damage was initiated immediately after the storm by performing an airborne video mission to acquire aerial imagery linked to global positioning coordinates. Interpretation of the aerial video imagery generated data that were used to map zones of similar damage severity. The Geographic Information System map data were linked with recent State forest resource inventory data to provide estimates of forest resource damage. There were 2.1 million acres of forest land within the 3.7-million-acre study area in northeast Mississippi. Less than 1 percent of the forest land remained untouched by some degree of damage. Net loss to live-tree volume, due to probable mortality, amounted to 16.5 percent of hardwoods and 15.3 percent of softwoods. The majority of volume loss occurred in areas that received about 25 percent mortality to the forest resource.

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