By Chris Gardner (USACE)June 8, 2011
NEW YORK -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, Planning and Response Team has been tapped to assist with ongoing recovery efforts in southwest Missouri, in Joplin and the surrounding communities, following the devastating tornado that struck there, May 22, 2011.
The Corps has been assigned by FEMA with the Critical Public Facilities Mission and will be responsible for managing the construction of temporary public facilities in areas where they have been destroyed or are unable to be repaired in a timely manner.
At this early stage, the New York District team is meeting with officials to discuss the construction of temporary facilities for fire stations, school buildings (for students K-12, including a vocational high school) and medical facilities in the affected areas.
The team is assigned to the Army Corps' Recovery Field Office in Joplin, which is being led by the Corps' Kansas City District.
"The hope is that these temporary facilities will help with recovery efforts and bring some sense of normalcy back to the community of Joplin," said New York District Commander Col. John R. Boulé. "The federal government and the Army Corps are drawing on capabilities from around the country for this recovery mission and we're extremely proud to be a part of it."
The last time New York District's PRT was deployed for a large-scale mission like this was to manage the Temporary Housing Mission in 2008 after Hurricane Ike struck the Gulf Coast of Texas. The team managed the installation of more than 3,500 individual temporary housing units as well as three community sites which are similar to neighborhoods built from scratch usually comprised of about 50 homes.
When called upon, the Army Corps of Engineers carries out missions assigned by FEMA following disasters as part of its responsibility for Emergency Support Function #3 (public works and engineering) as outlined in the National Response Framework. The Critical Public Facilities mission assigned to New York District is one of many emergency operations missions the Army Corps of Engineers is managing throughout the Southern and Midwestern U.S., which has is dealing with historic flooding and a series of devastating tornadoes.