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Hurricane Harvey Response

The USACE Galveston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crisis action team activated to 24-hour operations as of Aug. 25, 2017, in the emergency operation center monitoring and preparing for Hurricane Harvey.

CURRENT OPERATION

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is leaning forward in partnership with local, state, and federal response in the support of the people affected by the impacts from Hurricane Harvey.  We currently have more than 353 personnel engaged and operating in coordination with county, state, and FEMA partners.  Our number one priority continues to be life, health, safety of all personnel affected by Hurricane Harvey.  USACE is focused on flood mitigation and reservoir operations, temporary emergency power, debris technical assistance, navigation restoration, temporary housing, infrastructure assessments, and commodities technical assistance.

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has received FEMA Mission Assignments for temporary power, regional activation, subject matter experts, debris removal and technical assistance, temporary housing technical planning, infrastructure assessment, and commodities technical assistance.

    • USACE will deploy SMEs and a management cell to provide technical commodity distribution planning, training and management support to FEMA at the Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) and JFO in Austin.

    • USACE has delivered 6 pumps with a total capacity of 18,000 gallons per minute (3,000 gpm each) to the Beaumont Water Treatment Station to serve as backups in support of the City of Beaumont's efforts to restore potable water to impacted residents.

    • USACE has deployed temporary housing SMEs to assist with planning a large scale temporary housing mission.

    • Infrastructure Assessment and Water/Waste Water SME has deployed to assist with getting critical public facilities operational.

    • The Temporary Power Planning and Response Team which includes members form Pittsburg District, the 249th Engineer Battalion and ACI Contractors are conducting assessments and installing generators.

    • Liaison Officers are assisting the state Emergency Operations Centers and team leaders are providing technical assistance to FEMA response nodes.

    • A Temporary Housing SME is embedded with FEMA Region VI providing assistance and oversight for housing needs.  Additional personnel are enroute to assist with FEMA’s Housing planning efforts.

    • Debris SMEs are providing technical assistance to Texas with its debris removal plan.

  • USACE is closely coordinating with the Coast Guard on the plan to clear and open the federal navigation channels once weather permits.

    • USACE has completed surveying 227 of 379 miles of the Texas main stem section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW).  Dredging operations have begun in Galveston and Freeport.

  • In an effort to mitigate the effects of flooding in the area, USACE Districts are monitoring flood risk reduction projects, and these projects are performing as designed.

  • In regards to Addicks and Barker Dams, our overall goal is to continue to release at current rates to bring the reservoirs down at least 3 inches more to get water out of the houses above / upstream from the reservoir, then reduce flows to minimize impact to houses on the lower / downstream end of the reservoirs. 

  • These two reservoirs have operated per design to collectively retain more than 125 billion gallons of water that would have otherwise flowed into Houston. USACE continues 24-hour operations at the site to monitor conditions of the structure. Controlled releases from the dams continue to assure the safest possible functioning of the dams.

  • The Harvey flood water contained in the reservoirs will likely take about three months to release from our structures, assuming we get little or no further rainfall over this timeframe.  The goal is to restore flood water storage capacity in the reservoirs for use during future rain events.

    • Public safety remains our number one concern as we work closely with our partners - the city of Houston, Fort Bend County, Harris County and the Texas Department of Public Safety and continue to monitor the dams and reservoirs.

OVERALL

  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (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, commodities distribution, and generator installation.

  • 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 2016, USACE had 1096 personnel deployments in response to one or more of 33 disaster declarations.

  • USACE serves as the lead agency to respond with public works and engineering support and to coordinate long-term infrastructure recovery.

  • USACE conducts its emergency response activities under two basic authorities – Public Law 84-99 (Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies), and when mission assigned by FEMA under the Stafford Disaster and Emergency Assistance Act.

    • Under Public Law 84-99 (Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies), USACE provides disaster preparedness services and advanced planning measures designed to reduce the amount of damage caused by an impending disaster.

    • Under the Stafford Act, the Corps supports the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency in carrying out the National Response Plan, which calls on 30 federal departments and agencies to provide coordinated disaster relief and recovery operations.

  • In any disaster, USACE’s three top priorities are:

    • Support immediate life-saving and life-safety emergency response priorities

    • Sustain lives with critical temporary emergency power and other needs

    • Initiate recovery efforts by assessing and restoring critical infrastructure.

  Related Links:

Sabine and Neches rivers potential flood maps - News Story
Corps of Engineers researchers use supercomputer to model Harvey flooding - News Story
Water managers passing Harvey runoff through Cheatham, Barkley pools - News Story

Federal Assets Supporting State Response Efforts as Rain Continues to Deluge Area: Protect your health and safety, follow state, local and tribal official instructions to shelter in place or evacuate   - News Release
Residents in Texas and Louisiana Brace for the Effects of Major Hurricane Harvey - News Release
Hurricane Harvey: Pittsburgh Emergency Power Team Activated - News Release
Post storm guidance for flood recovery and repair activities public notice released - News Release

Emergency Operations