USACE responds to Iselle

| August 15, 2014 | 0 Comments
Master Sgt. Jamie Cosey, Staff Sgt. Shawn Truesdell and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Springette Ulston, all with Company A, 249th Eng. Bn. (Prime Power), USACE-HD, work in the District's emergency operations center.

(From left) Master Sgt. Jamie Cosey, Staff Sgt. Shawn Truesdell and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Springette Ulston, all with Company A, 249th Eng. Bn. (Prime Power), USACE-HD, work in the District’s emergency operations center, Aug. 8, to help field multiple assets to assist the Coast Guard, Hawaii State Civil Defense, FEMA and other federal, state and local agencies in response to the threat of Hurricane Iselle.

Story and photo by Joseph Bonfiglio
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Honolulu District Public Affairs
In response to Hurricane Iselle, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District fielded multiple assets to assist the Coast Guard, the Hawaii State Civil Defense, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal, state and local agencies.
Honolulu District, working with local and federal partners, jointly conducted an underwater survey in Hilo harbor on Aug. 8, and ensured there were no channel obstructions.
Based on the successful results of this survey, the Coast Guard reopened Hilo Harbor the same day, allowing vessel traffic to safely resume.
The District, teaming with the 249th Engineer Battalion-Prime Power, also worked with state and federal officials to assist its efforts in restoring power in affected areas.
These actions were taken in response to the FEMA Region 9’s request for emergency power subject matter experts to support operational planning efforts to provide emergency power.
A few days before Hurricane Iselle hit, Honolulu District activated its emergency management teams, including the emergency operations center, the power planning and response team, the channel and harbor response team, the crisis action team, the crisis management team, its liaison officers, and its subject matter expert for emergency power.
Honolulu 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 USACE 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 Honolulu District 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 in the Pacific Ocean area of responsibility.
The Corps conducts its emergency response activities under two basic authorities — the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Act, and when missions are assigned by FEMA, under the Stafford Disaster and Emergency Assistance Act.

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