Contractors working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District install a 23-foot-tall concrete shaft enclosure weighing approximately 120,000 pounds as part of the guard wall at the Monongahela River Locks and Dam 4 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, Nov. 16, 2023.

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Louisville District responds to Kentucky tornado disaster

Louisville District
Published Dec. 10, 2021
Updated: Dec. 13, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District is working in partnership with local, state and federal agencies in response to the severe storms and tornadoes, which impacted western Kentucky the evening of Dec. 10, 2021. When disasters occur, USACE works under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to support state and local governments in responding to major disasters.
According to the National Weather Service, the tornado outbreak included a violent EF-4 tornado, which had a total path length of more than 165 miles, resulting in significant destruction and damage in the region.  
The Louisville District Emergency Operations Center was activated Dec. 11 to support the disaster response.
“We are fully activated, working in coordination with the state to provide technical assistance and deploy teams to necessary areas as quickly as possible,” said Robert Burick, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District emergency operations manager.
To date, USACE has received four mission assignments totaling $6.5 million, which include Regional Activation; Temporary Power, which is being supported by the Pittsburgh District and the 249th Engineer Battalion Prime Power Team; and a Debris mission assignment to conduct assessments and provide technical assistance. Only a week after the storms, there were 55 USACE employees deployed to assist the emergency response effort. As of Dec. 20, 31 personnel remain on the ground to provide support.
“We have 17 Louisville employees deployed and conducting debris assessments across multiple counties in western Kentucky,” said Louisville District Commander Col. Eric Crispino. “I thank all those who responded so quickly and those who have volunteered to help.”
Additionally, subject matter experts deployed to conduct infrastructure assessments and surveys of critical public facilities. The teams visited eight impacted counties in western Kentucky and completed assessments on 25 facilities and systems.
On Dec. 16, USACE Commanding General and 55th Chief of Engineers Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon and Command Sgt. Maj. Patrickson Toussaint visited Mayfield, Kentucky. 
During their visits, the subject matter experts for infrastructure, power, critical public facilities and debris briefed the chief on the latest updates before touring the city.
“I just want to pass on the gratitude for all your work and updates to the senior levels in the department, who are really grateful for everything that is going on, on the ground,” said Spellmon.
Under the National Response Framework and authorities of the Stafford Act; USACE works under the direction of FEMA as a member of the federal team to support state and local governments in responding to major disasters. USACE assists FEMA by coordinating and organizing public works and engineering-related support as requested by the State.

Chick Lock

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