By Huntington District Public Affairs OfficeFebruary 1, 2018
The Huntington District has deployed an Unmanned Aerial System team in support of Task Force Power to assess the damage to electric transmission and distribution lines in remote areas where access is limited by the steep and densely vegetated terrain. The team utilizes the Lockheed Martin Indago 2 Unit with the ION HD Inspection Payload with a 30X Optical Zoom. In addition to real time video feed to the hand control unit, it also possess the ability to stream video to secure internet links based on the availability of high speed cellular in that location.
The team is made up of Aaron Ansell, Stephen Caldwell and Steve Hurst of the Huntington District and Michelle Newman-Gallardo of the Seattle District.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is working in partnership with the local, state, and federal response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria. We have more than 900 personnel currently engaged and coordinating with local, state and FEMA partners in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. During the lifecycle of these events, USACE has deployed more than 3,000 civilians and 250 military service members for recovery efforts. Our number one priority continues to be the life, health and safety of all who were affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
USACE has received more than 50 FEMA Mission Assignments totaling $2.7 Billion for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Each day, the USACE Power Restoration Team is restoring power to between 5-10K homes and businesses.
The road to repairing the grid is a process that includes four main lines of effort:
1. Provide temporary emergency power and spot generation for critical facilities like hospitals and shelters;
2. Ensure adequate generation at the power plants;
3. Reinstall and repair transmission lines, and;
4. Restore and repair distribution lines, ultimately providing power to local residences.
Puerto Rico has 2,400 miles of transmission lines across the island and 30,000 miles of distribution lines with 300 sub-stations. It is estimated that 80 percent of the grid has been affected.