Brig. Gen. David Turner, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division, and Los Angeles District leadership toured flood-damaged areas of Fort Irwin, Sept. 19.
The Los Angeles District sent a team of more than 60 engineering and technical support professionals to the fort to assess damage and provide recovery operations after flooding from a monsoon-like storm covered the post with mud and debris, Aug. 25.
The storm’s strong winds and rainfall caused an estimated $50 million in damage, to include disintegrating roads and sidewalks and flooding in a school, barracks and offices, which displaced Soldiers.
“We got up to three inches of rain in about 80 minutes,” said Fort Irwin Garrison Commander Col. Jonathan Braga. “You can imagine with that amount of rain coming down, and the force of it, it just caused a lot of damage here. It was honestly too much for our team to handle and one phone call to the Corps of Engineers got their response team up here within a day. And it wasn’t just any day, it was right before Labor Day weekend.”
After the tour, Turner visited with post and garrison officials and personally thanked Corps responders and Fort Irwin Department of Public Works staff for their efforts.
The team assessed more than 166 buildings, training facilities and ranges for flood damage and life safety. Teams also inspected civil structures like bridges and roadways.
“Because of the Corps’ experience in disaster recovery, the teams were able to use the assessments to rapidly generate statements of work and independent government estimates that will ultimately result in contract awards for the clean-up and repair of facilities,” Turner said. “The Corps is prepared and ready to respond to natural and man-made disasters.”
Turner added that in times of disaster it isn’t just a local USACE district or office that responds.
“Personnel and other resources are mobilized across the country to carry out the Corps response missions,” the general said.