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Public Law (PL) 84-99 provides authority for the Chief of Engineers to execute preparedness, response and recovery activities to mitigate the effect of floods, droughts, and other natural disasters.  Listed here are some pre-disaster actions, such as the disaster preparedness and some are post-disaster, which include:

  • Emergency operations (flood fighting / disaster response / post response)

  • Rehabilitation, and

  • Inspection of completed works (ICW)

Disaster preparedness for the Charleston District’s Emergency Management (CESAC-OPE) are day-to-day operations.  Disaster preparedness includes planning for all types of natural and human-caused disasters.

Disaster response may involve providing technical assistance in support of an ongoing flood fight.  This allows the Charleston District to send experts to consult with South Carolina State Representatives or County Representatives for impacted areas, provide sandbags or pumps for flood fighting purposes; or provide emergency contracting services to strengthen or raise levees, etc.  According to the Corps’ policy (found in Engineering Regulation 500-1-1), this authority ceases to exist “when the flood waters recede back to bank full.”  Thus, pumps may be provided to fight rising waters, but may not be sent to dewater an already flooded area (i.e., where the damage has already been done).

Post-flood response activities that are authorized include clearing debris from drainage channels, water supply intakes, transportation routes, etc.  This authority exists only for a period of 10 days and only where there has been no Presidential disaster declaration.

Rehabilitation work generally entails making repairs to Flood Risk Management (FRM) and Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) projects damaged by floods or unusual wind or wave action.  All federally constructed projects are automatically included within this authorization, and other publicly owned projects may be eligible for inclusion, but must be identified and inspected (Initial Eligibility Inspection – IEI) in advance of the disaster causing the damage.  This authority requires the production of a report addressing, among other things, the costs and benefits for rehabilitation.  Approval for rehabilitation of a FRM or CSRM project comes from the Corps’ South Atlantic Division (SAD).  Federally constructed projects are repaired at a 100% federal cost share; non-federal projects in the program are cost shared with the project sponsor.

Inspection of Completed Works (ICW) entails periodic inspection of a FRM and CSRM project to ensure that the projects are providing the level of protection (i.e., maintenance is being done to maintain the project as built).