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News Release


Release No: 510-98
October 01, 1998


Using its aircraft and military and civilian workforce, the Department of Defense is continuing to deliver help to the people who have been devastated by the destructive forces of Hurricane Georges in the U.S. Gulf Coast states and the Caribbean.

In the Gulf States, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has procured 1.25 million sandbags for flood fighting operations and pre-positioned generators and supplies of ice and water in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Also they have procured 73,000 gallons of water and 55,400 pounds of ice at Gunter Air Force Base, Ala., with 40,000 more gallons of water at Camp Beauregard, La.

State authorities are distributing ice and water.

The Air Force flew five medical teams to the Gulf Coast at the onset of the storm.

More than 5,400 National Guardsmen in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi have been called up for state active duty performing missions of sandbagging, power and safety operations, evacuation, shelter security, transportation and cleaning up debris.

In Florida, the National Guard has rescued 200 people from flooded homes.

Fifty Coast Guard reservists in the Gulf Coast area were also called up on federal active duty for 10-30 days.

Before the Hurricane-force winds arrived, the military Services were busy protecting their aircraft and vessels from damage. The Army, Navy and Air Force relocated more than 300 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, or placed them in hangars.

Last week, the Navy moved 12 ships to the open seas or protected areas.

In the Caribbean, the Army Corps of Engineers has delivered 2.1 million pounds of ice, purchased one million gallons of water for distribution in Puerto Rico and provided emergency debris clearance, removal and disposal. The Corps also provided tanker trucks for water deliveries.

Additionally, the Corps increased its temporary roofing mission from $50 million to $250 million and is working with several contractors to provide temporary coverings for an estimated 95,000 roofs. Also they are performing a $6 million emergency power mission which includes damage and repair assessments and delivery and set-up of emergency generators.

Two platoons of the 249th Army Engineer Battalion are in Puerto Rico to assist in restoration of electric power and are working closely with Puerto Rican power officials. To date, the 249th has installed 38 generators. Fifty-eight generators remain available for use as requested by FEMA and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The Air Force has flown 89 of 152 missions in response to Federal Emergency Management Agency requests for delivery of more than 8,500 tons of hurricane relief supplies and aid in the Caribbean. Along with numerous civilian and military incident response teams, the Air Force has carried a variety of cargo such as baby food, bottled water, generators, plastic sheeting and refrigerator trailers.

The Navy has sent a naval mobile construction battalion to support road clearing and repair operations. The battalion also has performed minor repairs to municipal buildings in Puerto Rico. Additionally its Fleet Composite Squadron Eight has provided helicopter flights for damage assessment.

In a separate mission, a Navy helicopter delivered satellite communications equipment to Culebra, a small Puerto Rican island, located midway between the big island of Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

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