Post-Flooding Response Activity Frequently Asked Questions

Emergency Management

Q:  What is the Corps of Engineers' authority concerning post flood response efforts? 

A:  The Corps of Engineers' authorities for post flood response activities are authorized under Section 917 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, Public Law 99-662. This amendment to Public Law 84-99 expands the Corps authority for providing emergency relief work following a flood or coastal storm disaster. 

Q:  When do these authorities take effect? 

A:  All Corps post flood response work under Section 917 must be accomplished within ten days of the Governor's request for a preliminary damage assessment (PDA) and Federal disaster assistance under Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) PL93-288 authority. 

Q:  What responsibilities does the Corps have during a post flood response?

A:  Post flood response actions will vary with the type and severity of the emergency. The following guidelines dictate general policy: 

·   Corps assistance is limited to the preservation of life and/or improved property (i.e., residential/commercial developments and public facilities/services). Assistance to individual homeowners and businesses including agricultural property is not permitted. 

·   Corps assistance will complement the maximum State, Tribal, and local efforts. Non-Federal interests must commit available resources (i.e. manpower, supplies, equipment, funds, etc.). 

·   Corps assistance will be temporary to meet the immediate threat. It is not intended to provide permanent solutions to flooding problems.

·    All emergency activities performed by the Corps will be coordinated through the State Emergency Management Office, Tribal Council, and applicable FEMA Regional Office. 

·    Corps activities (with the exception of loaned supplies and equipment), will be 100 percent Federally funded. Reimbursement of State, Tribal, and local interests for their costs is not authorized.

·    Local assurances to provide necessary real estate and indemnification of the United State resulting from Corps response efforts is required.

Q:  How can I request the Corps' assistance? 

A:  Corps post flood assistance will be limited to major floods or disasters resulting in life and/or property threatening situations. Specific guidelines for providing assistance are as follows:

·    A written request from the Governor or Tribal Chairperson to the Corps District Commander is required to receive Corps assistance. The Governor or Tribal request must verify that he/she has requested FEMA to initiate a preliminary damage assessment. The request must also indicate the requested assistance is beyond the State's or Tribe's present capability to perform, identify specific damage locations, and indicate the extent of Corps assistance required to supplement current State, Tribe, and local efforts. The request should be transmitted concurrently with his/her request for FEMA's PDA. 

·    Corps assistance is limited to ten days following receipt of the Governor's or Tribe's written request. All work must be completed within the ten day period, or upon assumption by the State and local interests. The ten day work period is not affected by a subsequent Presidential declaration or denial. No extension of the ten day time limit will be granted. 

·    After the Governor's or Tribe's request for assistance has triggered the ten day period, subsequent requests for additional assistance resulting from the same flood or disaster will not extend the ten day period or trigger a new ten day period. 

·    The Corps will not take action on requests received subsequent to a Presidential declaration or denial

Q:  What assistance is available from the Corps?

A:  Assistance to a State or Tribe under the authority of Section 917 will be considered for the following categories: 

·    Clearance of key drainage channels or structures blocked by debris deposited during the flood.

·    Removal of debris and blockages of critical water supply intakes, sewer outfalls, bridge openings, etc. Additionally, removal of minimum debris necessary to reopen critical transportation routes. 

·    Temporary construction required to restore critical transportation routes or public services/facilities. 

·    Reduction and/or prevention of shoreline damage or beach erosion will not be undertaken unless there is an immediate threat to life or critical public facilities.

·    Other assistance required to prevent imminent loss of life or property as determined by the Corps District Commander. Work should be within the scope of emergency construction activities normally engaged in by the Corps.