TULSA, Okla. – Amidst cold, rain, and the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Tulsa District maintenance crews working on the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) clean debris from the downstream side of the Webbers Falls powerhouse.While adhering to protective pandemic protocols throughout the district, many essential personnel, like these crews, are still at work performing their duties to support the nation’s vital infrastructure.Removing the debris helps ensure maximum efficiency of the power unit’s discharge as water passes through during power production.“Our job is to insure that these locks, dams and powerhouses stay operational with the resources we have available,” said Shane Roe, Tulsa District MKARNS Major Maintenance Manager. “There is never a shortage of work on this system, we’ve always got work that we can be doing.”Maintenance crews work from a four deck, 82 foot long maintenance vessel known at the “Mr. Pat” named after Robert Patterson, long time Tulsa District engineer.This vessel facilitates the movement of a 150 foot barge, housing a 200 ton crane used for major repairs and maintenance operations on the five lock & dams that make up the Oklahoma portion of the MKARNS.Tulsa District’s maintenance personnel work tirelessly to support this economically important 50 year old navigation system which is always in need of routine maintenance and repair.“This crew is some of the hardest working guys I’ve ever been around,” said Roe. They go non-stop until the work is done and they are very good at what they do.”According to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) Waterways Division 2018 report, the total MKARNS impact on sales is $8.525 billion nationwide with the Oklahoma MKARNS segment nationally contributing $4.077 billion.The 2018 report also note that the he system as a whole transported 11.9 million tons of cargo with a total value of $3.5 billion with the Oklahoma portion of the MKARNS accounting for 6.2 million tons of cargo valued at $2.2 billion.In addition, two of the eight hydropower facilities the Tulsa District manages for Southwestern Power Administration, the Robert S. Kerr and Webbers Falls powerhouses, are located on the MKARNS.The two powerhouses help contribute to the overall generating capacity of the district which helps supply power to approximately 2 million end users throughout Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Louisiana.Whether debris removal, gate repairs or removing sediment deposits that restrict movement, the Tulsa District MKARNS maintenance crew stands ready to serve come rain or shine.