Pittsburghers Stand Ready To Help With Hurricane Relief, Some Heading To Texas

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Operating out of a 22nd-floor office in the Moorehead Federal Building downtown, the Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh is now a Hurricane Harvey Emergency Operations Center.

It’s this office which will oversee providing temporary power by putting generators in locations, when and if the call comes in that they are needed.

Dave Bishop, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said, “When the power goes out from a hurricane, or whatever the disaster, we’re the first ones in there to install generators at critical public facilities. Things like hospitals, operating centers and fire departments.”

Bishop is the Corps’ emergency power project manager. He says a preparedness team of 13 members from Pittsburgh is now on the ground in Texas.

According to Bishop, FEMA has positioned generators at strategic locations, like a San Antonio airfield. They’re also ready to be moved out when needed when the situation is deemed safe.

“We have different folks from different agencies that work in this command center here,” he said. “One of them is the Department of Energy. So the Department of Energy is able to communicate with local power utility companies. That means when the power goes out, they can tell us what areas are without power.”

The Red Cross in Pittsburgh is already playing a role in storm response efforts.

Don Wilson, of Beaver Falls, is one of a dozen western Pennsylvania volunteers who have left town, or are soon leaving, to help in storm recovery operations.

Wilson told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “The first flight I was on was cancelled already. Everything now going into Houston is down, so I’m going in a different direction. I’m flying to Dallas, and then final destination is San Antonio.”

He added, “I’ll do whatever they need me to do, when I get there.”

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