Army, Corps of Engineers officials visit Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN – Two senior U.S. Army officials began a two-day visit Tuesday to Puerto Rico to meet with local 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 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, according to a Department of Defense announcement.
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.
Fisher and Semonite were also visiting the coordinating officer for the multi-agency federal effort and representatives of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa), as well as participating in “several USACE response activities.” A flyover of USACE work across the island was also planned, according to the release.
The USACE Task Force Power Restoration, Prepa, FEMA and industry partners have restored power to 1 million utility customers, the announcement reads.
Other mission accomplishments, detailed, include (as of Feb. 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