FEBRUARY 7, 2018, San Juan, PR – Two senior U.S. Army officials began a two-day visit today to Puerto Rico to meet with senior Commonwealth elected officials and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) response leaders.
Ryan A. Fisher, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and 54th Chief of Engineers Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite arrived in San Juan today and received an update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) South Atlantic Division’s forward-deployed headquarters led by Col. Donovan D. Ollar.
Discussion topics included USACE’s Puerto Rico response and recovery work in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria for the following areas: restoration of the permanent electrical grid; temporary power for essential services; temporary roofing; repair of critical public facilities; and debris removal and disposal for participating municipalities.
In addition to planned meetings with senior Puerto Rico elected officials, Fisher and Semonite will visit the coordinating officer for the multi-agency federal effort, leaders of the Commonwealth’s electrical power authority and several USACE response activities. A flyover of Corps work across the island is also planned.
During a federally declared disaster, USACE is FEMA’s lead for Emergency Support Function 3, Civil Works and Engineering under the national response framework.
The USACE Task Force Power Restoration, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, FEMA and industry partners, have successfully restored power to 1,000,000 customers. Other mission accomplishments include (as of February 4):
- Completed 95 percent of federal generator installations for essential services
- Installed over 55 thousand temporary “blue” roofs
- Awarded 95 contracts for repair of critical public facilities, and completed repair of 21 of those facilities
- Collected 2.9 million cubic yards of debris from 55 participating municipalities, or the equivalent of 878 Olympic swimming pools
Story by Andrew Kornacki
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District