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Posted 11/6/2012

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By Bob Anderson

BROOKLYN, New York - In support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is actively working to provide temporary emergency power in areas of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania affected by Hurricane Sandy. USACE teams have deployed to strategic locations to help at critical facilities like hospitals, nursing homes and shelters.

“The mission of these power teams is to get cities back up and running, and that’s exactly what we are working to do, around-the-clock,” said James Balocki, the senior USACE official heading up the emergency power mission for the Hurricane Sandy response.

One of the centers of activity for the USACE emergency power mission is at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst at Lakehurst, N.J. Nineteen emergency power specialists from USACE’s Philadelphia Emergency Power Planning and Response Team (PRT) are working with 110 commercial contractors preparing generators, deploying assessment teams to identify needs, matching up generators to meet those needs, and then loading and hauling them to sites. Once there they coordinate with local power companies, install and ultimately oversee the operation of the generators. Thus far they have installed roughly 150 generators of various sizes and capacities.

A similar operation is also underway at Republic Airport at East Farmingdale, N.Y., by the Emergency Power PRT based in USACE’s Pittsburgh District.

A third Emergency Power PRT from USACE’s Savannah (Georgia) District has deployed to Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. They have provided and installed 14 generators in Pennsylvania at special needs facilities, fire stations and a high school.

Additionally, Soldiers from the Army’s 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power) contributed to this effort during the early stages of the hurricane response by doing preliminary power needs assessments and other critical response tasks. They are continuing to provide support during the current phase of this operation.

USACE will continue to work with its partners to complete this vital mission.

249th engineer battalion emergency response Hurricane Sandy