"Our teams have put in a heroic performance, and some are still working around the clock to save lives, boost safety, assess damage and restore critical infrastructure. Professionals engaged, anticipating what will be needed where, and ready to deliver: this is what world-class disaster response looks like! I am honored to be leading such a dedicated team of professionals committed to making a positive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable. I could not be prouder of you— leaders of superior integrity and technical competence who have stepped up and answered the call to serve." - Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, USACE Headquarters, Chief of Engineers
"Every event is different and brings a variety of challenges and situations that need to be addressed, you work with partners that were established with the local communities and across the State. Everyone has a job to do and everyone pulls together to meet the challenges to save lives and to do as much as possible to save property. It's a team effort and when one part of the team needs help, others spring forward to assist. It's all about the working relationships with local and state partners. I strongly believe local and state partnerships are crucial to expand on current capabilities which will go a long way for future event response operations." - Michael Hind, Charleston District, Chief, Emergency Management Branch
"Pre-emergency planning and preparation is crucial. Every community should conduct what is called, in the emergency management community, a THIRA (Threat & Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment) to identify potential risk areas depending upon the threat. Based on those assessments, identified pre-emergency preparations can be implemented, as was the case in the Conway and Georgetown areas." - Peter Navesky, USACE Headquarters, Senior Liaison to FEMA
"Being located physically in the Emergency Operations Center during the event gave people confidence that the Corps was 100% available and engaged. My role consisted of ensuring the right people were in place to make an impact based on needs, knowledge, and skill. In addition, as questions or needs arose, I was readily available to initiate actions and provide feedback. "Real time" accessibility was a key to the effectiveness of the mission." - Tommy Fennel, Charleston District, Regulatory Branch Chief, Hurricane Florence Liaison Officer
"My primary take away from the Florence flood response effort was that by working together, the Corps of Engineers, National Guard, State DOT, and Horry County were able to quickly and effectively plan and execute flood fight measures. The close communication and coordination between these agencies was definitely a key to the success.
For the Highway 501 flood fight, USACE was engaged in the early planning and provided input on which flood fight products would be most effective. We also provided Hescos, Supersacks, plastic sheeting, and sandbags delivered directly to the flood fight location. It was challenging to have the flood fight materials delivered on time so that the State and National Guard's progress on installing the materials was not impacted. When the forecasted inundation levels changed, USACE assisted DOT and the National Guard with adjusting the plan to increase the flood protection height." - Douglas Weber, Seattle District, Chief, Emergency Management Branch, Hurricane Florence Flood Fight SME