WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Six more U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, power team members departed Walla Walla for Colorado, on Sunday to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 8’s request for emergency power assistance, according to Corps emergency management officials. Three other power team members departed Saturday.
Those who deployed Sunday include: Julie Morris, a procurement technician at the district headquarters in Walla Walla, serving the FEMA mission as a contract specialist; Rick Beauchesne, operations project manager at Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake near Walla Walla, serving as a mission specialist; Sandra Geiger, a supply technician at Lower Granite Lock and Dam, serving as a mission specialist; James Wade, a maintenance management technician at Lower Granite Lock and Dam near Pomeroy, Wash., serving as a logistic specialist; Lonnie Croft, a maintenance worker at Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake, serving as a quality assurance specialist; and Ken Wanderscheid, an electronic system control craftworker at McNary Lock and Dam near Umatilla, Ore., serving as a quality assurance specialist.
These six closely followed the deployment of three other Walla Walla District power team members who departed Walla Walla on Saturday. Danielle Stephens, Walla Walla District’s Structural Design Section chief, serves the emergency power mission as an action officer; Chad Rhynard, Electrical Design Section chief, serves as a mission manager; and Katie Goodwin, an administrative officer for Plans, Programs and Project Management Division, serves as a mission specialist.
All nine deployed district employees are helping to coordinate emergency power support to areas impacted by recent severe flooding across Colorado.
The Walla Walla District maintains one of the Corps’ eight power teams, ready to deploy as part of the Corps’ Emergency Support Function (ESF) #3, public works and engineering-related support. The all-volunteer teams can provide backup electrical power generation anywhere an emergency makes the service needed. Team members agree to be in an on-call status, ready to deploy on short-notice when disaster strikes. Power team members directly support FEMA emergency management staging areas and operations centers.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is prepared and ready to respond to natural and man-made disasters. When disasters occur, it is not just a local Corps district or office that responds. Personnel and other resources are mobilized across the country to carry out response missions. The command is part of the federal government’s unified national response to disasters and emergencies and is the designated lead for ESF #3, public works and engineering-related support. The Corps conducts its emergency response activities under two basic authorities – the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act, and when mission assigned by FEMA, under the Stafford Disaster and Emergency Assistance Act.
In any disaster, the Corps’ top priorities are 1) support immediate emergency response priorities; 2) sustain lives with critical commodities, temporary emergency power and other needs; and 3) initiate recovery efforts by assessing and restoring critical infrastructure.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror. Check out http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/EmergencyOperations.aspx for more information about the Corps of Engineers’ emergency management mission and roles in supporting national disasters.