PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Strong hurricanes have devastated parts of the United States and Caribbean.
One of the most pressing issues of recovery is restoring electrical service. But, a Downtown Pittsburgh facility that is spearheading that effort.
“We are trained to work in different situations and critically think through them. That’s what we are trained for and we are using this as an opportunity to really help the people of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands,” Army Major French Pope said.
FEMA, the Army, the Army Corps of Engineers and hundreds civilians and contractors are coordinating a massive effort to get temporary power solutions to the impacted areas.
“We have had a lot of people working a lot of long hours for many days and — you know, there’s no rest. You just keep going. We have to get the job done,” Dave Bishop, of the Army Corps of Engineers, said.
Critical resources are needed, not only in Texas and Florida, but also Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands. All of that is coordinated through Downtown Pittsburgh.
Assistance from this group comes from hundreds of generators in all shapes and sizes. The 249th Engineering Battalion is trained to put portable power solutions at critical water treatment plants, sanitation facilities and hospitals.
“They are very, very well trained in the electrical component of things. They are the experts when it comes to generators, the operation of them, determining the size and configurations and what generator it takes for a particular facility,” Bishop said.
When the Army moves out, civilians play a critical role in keeping it all running and a facility in Pittsburgh makes sure it happens quickly.
“As quickly as possible. A two-hour delay in responding to an email could be a 24-hour delay in getting a generator in the field,” Joshua Kaufmann, of Advanced Contract Initiatives, said.
And, in times like these, every minute matters.