WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Eight U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Walla Walla District employees deployed during October and November to support Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster-response efforts in Georgia and Florida, according to District emergency management officials.
During October 2018, a civil engineer from the District headquarters in Walla Walla, Washington, went to Tallahassee, Florida, to perform bridge inspections. A natural resource specialist from Lucky Peak Dam and Lake, near Boise, Idaho; a materials handler from Little Goose Lock and Dam, near Starbuck, Washington; and a construction representative from Lower Granite Lock and Dam, near Pomeroy, Washington, traveled to Panama City, Florida, to support FEMA’s temporary roofing mission. The program, named Operation Blue Roof, provides temporary covering of blue plastic sheeting to help reduce further damage to property until permanent repairs can be made.
During November 2018, a power plant operator and a power plant mechanic from Lower Monumental Lock and Dam; and a rigger and a power plant electrician from McNary Dam, near Umatilla, Oregon, deployed to Albany, Georgia, to support FEMA’s debris-removal mission.
Twenty-seven District employees have volunteered to support FEMA disaster-response missions since June 1, the start of the 2018 hurricane season. Currently, USACE has more than 400 personnel from across the nation providing support both onsite and remotely, coordinating with local, state and FEMA disaster-response partners, to help those affected by Hurricane Michael https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-michael
. Our number one priority is the life, health and safety of all those impacted by the storm.
USACE is prepared and ready to respond to natural and human-made disasters and overseas contingencies. When disasters occur, USACE teams and other resources are mobilized from across the country to assist our local districts and offices to deliver our response missions. USACE has more than 50 specially-trained response teams supported by emergency contracts to perform a wide range of public works and engineering-related support missions. USACE uses pre-awarded contracts that can be quickly activated for missions such as debris removal, temporary roofing, and temporary emergency power.
Every year, USACE, as part of the federal government’s unified national response to disasters and emergencies, deploys hundreds of people to provide technical engineering expertise and to promote capacity development at home and abroad. In 2017, USACE had 5,731 personnel deployments in response to one or more of 59 disaster declarations.