THE CORPS RESPONDS - Publications_ US Army Corps of Engineers

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North Street Bridge, Wilkes-Barre,
Pennsylvania - washed out during
Tropical Storm Agnes 1972.

                   By Paul K    Walker

                   The Author

                     Paul K Walker a specialist in early American
                   history holds a Ph D degree from the Univer
                   sity of North Carolina Chapel Hill He has
                   taught history at Towson State and Western
                   Maryland Colleges At present lie is working on
                   a documentary history of the Corps of Engi
                   neers in the American Revolution

                   U S   ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT

       In late June   97   floodwaters resulting from
     Tropical Storm Agnes caused millions of dollars    ning the Corps intended that the Susquehanna
     in damage in the eastern section of the United     District be short lived The district existed only
     States Most of the damage from the storm           from 7 July to        November 97     but during
     called the worst natural disaster in the history   that period it carried out missions ranging from
     of the United States occurred in parts of          debris removal temporary bridging and mobile
     Virginia Maryland Pennsylvania and New             home site construction to temporary home
     York Confronted with a massive clean up and        repairs   In all district contracts exceeded
     recovery task state and local officials             8 million
     particularly in       Pennsylvania s hard hit         In this study the author examines the Corps
     Susquehanna River Basin          turned to the     response to Tropical Storm Agnes focusing in
     Federal government for help The Office of          depth on the formation of the Susquehanna
     Emergency Preparedness OEP coordinated the         District its mission performance and its subse
     Federal response and relied heavily on the         quent deactivation The result is a treatment of
     Corps of Engineers proven expertise in disaster    value not only to the general reader interested
     relief                                             in federal disaster assistance but also to the
        The Corps acted quickly with an initial         Corps of Engineers itself The author concludes
     effort channeled through existing districts in     that the Agnes experience demonstrated
     the North Atlantic Division In July as it          that each disaster has a character all its ;own
     became clearer that the scope of the clean up      that no single response is possible and that the
     and recovery would be tremendous Corps             federal agencies fighting the disaster must have
     officials looked for new ways to meet the          flexibility   The Susquehanna District experi
     growing challenge The solution was bold The        ment is viewed not as a model for future action
     Corps created a new administrative entity  the     but as a timely response to a unique situation
     Susquehanna Engineer District To this district     Still the lessons learned in the Agnes disaster
     went sole responsibility for dealing with work     can be fruitfully applied in planning for other
     in Pennsylvania and New York under the             emergency operations
     Disaster Relief Act of 97      From the begin

                                                        ROBERT S  McGARRY
                                                        BRIGADIER GENERAL          CORPS OF ENGINEERS
                                                        DISTRICT ENGINEER


Chapter                                               Page

I     Introduction : The Storm and First Response

II     A New Engineer District Is Formed

III     Debris Removal Mobile Homes and Mini Repair

IV Secondary Mission Assignments                         7

V Deactivation and Assessment                           4

NOTES                                                   47



Chapter I Introduction : The Storm
          and First Response

  Tropical Storm Agnes opening the           97    had already soaked the land from Virginia to
hurricane season developed off Mexico s Yuca       New England Now small creeks and streams
tan Peninsula as a tropical depression on          turned almost instantly into raging torrents
June 97      Three days later she was designated   Larger rivers swelled tremendously At Harris
a hurricane After striking land near Panama        burg on Wednesday morning the      st of June
City Fla    on the 9th the storm lost hurricane    the Susquehanna was 4 8 feet high only
force and was downgraded to a tropical depres      slightly above normal The next day the river
sion But Agnes sustained herself for days to       rose from       9 feet at 7 a m to 4   feet by 9
come Moving across Georgia and the Carolinas       p m Such rapid developments caught many by
she intensified again as she neared the Atlantic   surprise : flood warning systems did not func
Her passage along the New Jersey coast on          tion with full effectiveness
June was part of a typical tropical storm             As always       chance and unpredictability
pattern What followed was not                      played a part Had Agnes dumped her rains
   The afternoon of      June 97 Tropical          further east for example the effect in Wilkes
Storm Agnes turned inland near New York            Barre would have been quite different The
City headed westward through northern Penn         city s rainfall less than six inches was actually
sylvania and southern New York and merged          small compared to many areas But placement
with a broad non tropical low pressure system      of heaviest amounts along the upper reaches of
in central Pennsylvania The results were disas     the Susquehanna and its tributaries hurt The
trous                                              water eventually had to go by Wilkes Barre
   Since first touching land the storm was             The circumstances surrounding Agnes re
characterized by rain rather than wind Heavy       sulted in severe flooding nearly everywhere
rainfall not unusual in a storm of this type       Now the flood record books would also need
occurred from Florida to New England Yet           revising At Richmond Va        where the previous
Agnes stood apart from most of her predeces        record of      feet had stood since 77        the
sors because of the breadth of the area touched    James crested at 6     feet On the main branch
by her rains      Rainfall totaled about 8         of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania crests
trillion gallons nearly half of which fell in      were     to 8 feet above flood stage surpassing
Pennsylvania and New York Totals averaged          levels of the 9 6 flood of record
eight to      inches throughout central Penn           At noon on 4 June the Susquehanna crested
sylvania and exceeded       inches in several       in Harrisburg just under     feet almost four
areas                                               feet above the previous record         At that
   Greatly complicating the effects of Agnes       moment 96           cubic feet of water per
rainfall was the fact that rains earlier in June    second rushed past the state capital A record
6 billion gallons of water passed Harrisburg            Damages extensive all along the storm s
that day New York s Chemung River which              path were greatest in eastern Pennsylvania and
flows through Corning and Elmira created a           southern New York There the combination of
lake four miles wide between the two cities          heavy rains and flash floods was devastating
   The Chemung also overtopped flood protec          especially in the vicinity of Wilkes Barre and
tion levees in Corning and Elmira The Susque         Corning Elmira In Wilkes Barre a city of some
hanna did likewise in Wilkes Barre where water        8      located on the east side of the Susque
exceeded protective walls in several places by       hanna in Pennsylvania s Wyoming Valley about
five feet despite frantic sandbagging efforts At     one third of the city s homes were damaged by
Sunbury Pa         where the main and west           water that exceeded       feet in depth More
branches of the Susquehanna join water lapped        than           people fled their homes All but
the top of the levees                                    of 6     homes in Kingston a smaller city
   By surpassing the greatest anticipated volume     just across the river suffered flood damage The
for flood protection devices in so many cases        water in Kingston ranged in depth from       to
Agnes floodwaters shattered planners calcula             feet The flooding cut off power telephone
tions Their only consolation was that the walls      and sewer service in large areas of the Wyoming
at Sunbury held and that dams including one          Valley Roads were impassable and bridges were
under construction by the U S Army Corps of          swept away At Forty Fort a borough a few
Engineers prevented more than 488 million            miles northeast of Wilkes Barre the Susque
in damages in the Susquehanna basin mostly           hanna breached the levees crashed into a
along the western branch of the river                  9 year old burial ground and disinterred an
    By the time Tropical Storm Agnes left the        estimated        bodies
 continental United States she was already              In the Corning Elmira area a similar situa
 being classified as the greatest natural disaster   tion prevailed More than 8 percent of
 in United States history Total losses ultimately    Elmira s phone service was cut off; and in
 exceeded 4 billion Remarkably fatalities re         Corning     flooding interrupted natural gas
 lated to the storm were comparatively low           service to 9 percent of the local users
 Twenty deaths occurred in Maryland             in      Damage to crops in Virginia exceeded 4
 New York 48 in Pennsylvania and                in   million Pennsylvania s agriculturally rich York
 Virginia Total deaths were                          County was also hit hard In the upper Chesa
    Sandbaggers Flee Advancing Waters

peake Bay crabs and oyster ; were severely         Storm Agnes taxed local and state resources to
affected by the storm caused influx of debris      the limit On       June recognizing that they
silt and fresh water In Harrisburg the Penn        could not act alone the governors of Florida
sylvania state capital water covered most of the   Virginia Maryland Pennsylvania and New York
center city The first floor of the governor s      asked President Nixon to declare their states
mansion was flooded Inundation by mud and          major disaster areas The President responded
debris laden water rather than the velocity of     favorably that same day ; declarations for West
the water accounted for most of the damages        Virginia and Ohio followed in July The Office
   Agnes hit businesses throughout the Susque      of Emergency Preparedness OEP at the time
hanna River valley hard More than 7 of the         charged with directing federal disaster response
Wyoming Valley s commercial establishments         then determined which counties and in
most in downtown Wilkes Barre experienced          dependent cities within those states were el
some kind of flood damage These were con           igible for relief under Public Law 9 6 6 the
cerns which had accounted for 8 percent of         Disaster Relief Act of 97 enacted by Con
business sales and receipts in 967 Also            gress on       December 97       OEP eventually
sustaining damage in the downtown section of       found eligible all of Pennsylvania s 67 counties
Wilkes Barre were Kings and Wilkes Colleges         6 of New York s 6 counties 7 of Virginia s
the city hall post office and several schools      96 counties the independent city of Baltimore
Losses in the Wyoming Valley were eventually       and     of Maryland s    counties
calculated in excess of       billion while in        Public Law 9 6 6 had consolidated existing
credibly only six lives were lost                  federal disaster legislation and set new stand
   The Corning Glass Works and the Ingersoll       ards including a prohibition on discrimination
 Rand Company each employing about 6               in providing relief and establishment of mini
workers at the time of the flood suffered          mum standards to be used in constructing new
 damage in the millions IBM and Xerox suffered     buildings The law set down several ways
heavy losses to leased equipment in customers      whereby federal agencies might aid disaster
hands throughout the flood area Manhattan          victims These included lending personnel facil
 Industries set damage at its Wilkes Barre facil   ities supplies and equipment to state and local
 ities at      million Damages at Mrs Smith s      governments with or without compensation ;
 Pie Company in Pottstown Pa were 9                performing emergency debris removal and re
 In Harrisburg water flooded the plant of The      pairs to damaged state and local government
Patriot News the city s major newspaper            facilities ; distributing food and medical
   Not all businesses were so fortunate to carry   supplies ; and providing emergency shelter The
flood insurance as was Corning Glass Indeed        director of OEP the man charged with co
Manhattan Industries said their losses were        ordinating federal relief was specifically
largely uninsured Some companies simply            authorized to use federal agencies or make
closed down while others sought recovery           grants to individual states to remove debris and
through government loans Widespread flood          wreckage from both public and private lands
damage in New York was the final blow forcing      and to provide temporary housing or emer
the Erie Lackawanna Railroad to declare bank       gency shelter to disaster victims Under Public
ruptcy In Kingston the Interstate Brands           Law 9 6 6 federal spending was to give
Corporation decided not to reopen a heavily        preference to local residents and businesses
damaged cake plant                                    Normal OEP structure expanded to deal with
   With business activity interrupted un           the Agnes disaster President Nixon appointed a
employment rose Bethlehem Steel plants in          federal coordinating officer for each state It
Pottstown and Steelton Pa each laid off            was his job to ascertain relief requirements and
workers At the beginning of July more than         to work closely with state officials Each
         people were reported to be out of work    federal coordinating officer established a
state wide due to the storm                        disaster assistance field office consisting of
    In light of such devastating damage Tropical   representatives of federal state and local
    government agencies and of private relief            Corps acted on the basis of the disaster pro
    organizations such as the American Red Cross         visions of its own Engineer Regulations in
    General George A Lincoln OEP director at the         accordance with Public Law 84 99 and in
    time of Agnes and a veteran of the U S Army          expectation of imminent mission assignments
    Corps of Engineers ordered emergency support         from OEP Traditionally Public Law 84 99
    teams put together on a temporary duty basis         passed by Congress in the mid 9 s served as
    from federal departments and agencies to help        the basis for any emergency measures taken by
    the coordinating officers The field offices          the Corps before major disaster areas had been
    coordinated all federal assistance to public         designated The law placed a fund directly
    entities and private individuals OEP also estab      under the auspices of the Chief of Engineers for
    lished 9 individual assistance centers to inform     tasks including flood emergency preparation
    victims of available help and how to apply for       flood fighting and rescue operations and repair
    it Nearly half were set up in Pennsylvania The       of any flood control work threatened or
    field office located in Harrisburg and a sub field   destroyed by flood Repairs made under this
    office in Wilkes Barre Money to carry out            legislation were considered permanent in
    federal assistance programs came from the            nature
    existing President s Disaster Relief Fund from          As far as the Corps of Engineers was con
    special funds of the Small Business and Farmers      cerned Tropical Storm Agnes was unique in
    Home Administrations and from supplemental           that the bulk of her destruction occurred
     appropriations passed by Congress after             within a single division of the Corps organiza
    Agnes                                                tion      the North Atlantic Division NAD
       Considering the magnitude of the disaster         where Major General Richard H Groves was the
    federal response to Agnes mobilized quickly          division engineer Damage was heaviest in the
    under the direction of OEP Some far reaching         division s Baltimore District where Colonel
    promises were made On          June for example      Louis W Prentiss Jr was district engineer
    OEP official Francis X Carney pledged tem            NAD was one of the largest divisions in the
    porary housing for disaster victims in 9 days        Corps in terms of contracted workload and
    Although OEP had direct control over all             within the division the Baltimore District had
    programs drawing upon the disaster fund the          by far the heaviest workload At the time Agnes
    agency handled the work by issuing legal             struck both division and district were deeply
    documents in the form of mission assignments         involved in normal civil and military construc
    These ordered other government agencies to           tion jobs Nevertheless on           June General
    complete tasks particularly suited to their          Groves ordered his district engineers to mobi
    ability                                              lize and to contact all available contractors in
       One organization OEP relied upon heavily          anticipation of the expected flood fight and
    was the U S Army Corps of Engineers The               relief work
    Corps had performed disaster relief before and          As Agnes approached emergency operations
    as will be demonstrated stood ready to do so         control centers were activated at the Office of
    again As Carney later stated :                        the Chief of Engineers in Washington D C ; at
                                                         NAD headquarters in New York City ; at the
          The Corps of Engineers is the best             headquarters of other affected divisions ; and at
          contracting agency in the U S                   the offices of the districts involved The Balti
          Government When we need con                     more District s emergency operations control
          tracting for debris removal mini                center began 4 hour operations on         June
          repair such mission assignments go              Advance survey teams reached Harrisburg and
          to the Corps                                    Luzerne County Pa         on     June The New
                                                          York Engineer District took over emergency
      Even before OEP had begun to mobilize the           relief work for the New York portion of the
    federal effort under Public Law 9 6 6 the             Susquehanna basin at the direction of the
    Corps of Engineers had moved into action The          division engineer while Colonel Prentiss

ordered the establishment of 4 disaster area            melting pot of federal agency em
offices within Baltimore District s civil works         ployees military units and disaster
boundaries                                              services from across the country
   On Friday      June members of the newly
established Wilkes Barre Area Office arrived in       Soon men and women with buttons pro
the flood area Led by Major Gerald A Vick          claiming The Corps Cares were everywhere
assistant district engineer for civil works in     Throughout the first phase of emergency opera
Baltimore the group set up headquarters in a       tions elements of the U S First Army head
hangar at the Naval Reserve Center in Avoca        quartered at Fort Meade Md and units of the
Pa There they joined Congressman Daniel J          Pennsylvania National Guard the Army Re
Flood U S Representative for Pennsylvania s        serves and Navy Seabees augmented Corps
   th District who was tirelessly overseeing       personnel
early emergency rescue operations After an            In a tremendous manpower mobilization
aerial survey the following day Chief of           effort most personnel arrived at division dis
Engineers Frederick J Clarke instructed that       trict and area offices within the Agnes disaster
Corps military and civilian personnel be sent to   region between        and 8 June Emergency
the disaster area on temporary assignment          offices established within the Baltimore District
   Initially 68 officers were taken from the       were manned almost entirely with borrowed
Engineer Officer Advanced School at Fort           people     There was no way with my existing
Belvoir Va ; other personnel came from             organization alone that I could have handled
engineer districts ranging from Fort Worth         the emergency effectively Prentiss recalled ?
Texas to New England A Wilkes Barre news              A buildup of emergency work strength
paper declared :                                   continued to parallel the expanding emergency
                                                   effort On July Corps personnel in the
      Wyoming Valley has become a                  Wilkes Barre area included       officers and 4
     civilians They were aided by 7 local workers         of Harrisburg were finished about     July And
     and over 6     military personnel A week later       a cofferdam being erected at Forty Fort Pa
     the Wilkes Barre Area Office counted 84              to ease dike repairs was 9 percent completed
     civilian and military personnel                     by July €
        The Office of Emergency Preparedness issued          Debris removal consumed most of the Corps
     the first formal mission assignment to the Corps    energy in the initial emergency phase of the
     of Engineers on 6 June Under its terms the           Agnes recovery lasting about a month In the
     Corps was to perform emergency work for the         Wilkes Barre area alone the Corps removed
     preservation of life and property to assure that    more than eight million cubic yards of debris
     individual emergency needs are met       The task    Lines of trucks mostly civilian contracted by
    would include cleaning up and removing debris        the Corps and some belonging to the Army
    repairing and restoring public facilities and        hauled the trash to a series of landfills estab
    providing technical and engineering advice to        lished in the area In Harrisburg the Corps
    state and local agencies In a move designed to       calculated daily debris removal expenditures at
    further strengthen the Corps effort General            6
    Clarke gave Groves responsibility for co                 Some special problems were encountered in
    ordinating those Corps activities in New York        the rescue operation Traffic was one When
    and Pennsylvania that fell within the bound          city officials restricted access to Wilkes Barre
     aries of other divisions Also on 6 June the         and declared martial law the Corps helped by
     North Atlantic Division engineer and his district   hiring two bus firms to provide residents with
    engineers received authority to appoint con          free transportation
     tracting officers and let contracts Philadelphia       Another problem was water trapped in low
    District had already awarded a contract on 4         spots on the land side of levees     We pumped
    June Baltimore District s Wilkes Barre Area          from impounded areas to existing storm drains
    Office had followed on the 6th 8 While waters        pumped from impounded areas to the river and
    still inundated the area the office in Wilkes        tributaries and ditched to allow proper run
    Barre was contacting government officials and        off recalled Captain Donald F McCullough of
    publicly soliciting contractors The Harrisburg       the Wilkes Barre Area Office      When we ex
    Area Office divided its territory into sub areas     hausted the local supply of pumps we went as
    placed an engineer officer from Fort Belvoir in      far away as necessary to get the needed
    charge of each and had them meeting with             equipment
    local government officials and surveying                 Other formal mission assignments given to
    damage in a matter of days The aim according         the Corps by OEP during the first weeks of the
    to General Groves was to be ready to go as           relief effort included making damage surveys to
    soon as the waters receded 9                         determine eligibility under Public Law 9 6 6
       Demonstrating their desire to speed up the        assisting in the project application program
    normal contracting process Corps officials           obtaining and installing Bailey bridges and
    made contract awards remarkably fast in the          making temporary repairs to housing units The
    weeks following During the single week ending        project application assignment not a traditional
    Wednesday       July for example the Corps           one for the Corps included providing technical
    awarded 4 contracts valued at              million   and administrative assistance performing in
    for the Luzerne County effort alone The              spections and audits and making reimburse
    Baltimore District s Lock Haven Area Office          ments for eligible work on applications of
    whose territory encompassed the Susque                         or less Between 4 and 8 July the
    hanna s west branch where damages exceeded           Corps began construction of seven temporary
           million had      debris removal contracts     Bailey bridges Two of them were completed
    underway by July Award of a dozen more               during the same time period
    was projected a few days later Even as new              The temporary housing repair program
    contracts were being let others neared comple        known as mini repair actually started after
    tion Cleanup operations in Steelton southeast        formation of the Susquehanna Engineer

District and accordingly will be discussed         thousands were still homeless in the Wilkes
below On July the North Atlantic Division          Barre area while other thousands stayed on in
engineer entered into an agreement with the        damaged dwellings trying to clean up The tiny
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the devel         village of Shickshinny a few miles downstream
opment of mobile home group sites The hope         from Wilkes Barre remained in virtual isola
was to move residents of the disaster area from    tion
emergency shelters where the effects of close         Government agencies were plagued by staff
quarters were beginning to tell and place them     shortages in light of the heavy demand for
in more suitable quarters Work on two sites in     services Individual frustrations mounted
Luzerne County began that same day ; others        Though the relief agencies could point with
followed a short time later                        pride to emergency recovery accomplishments
   In July it became increasingly clear that the   much remained to be done It was in this
scope of work involved in cleaning up and          atmosphere that officials of the U S Army
recovering from Agnes would be tremendous          Corps of Engineers began to think of new ways
Damage estimates were being revised upward         to continue fulfilling their mission effectively
almost daily Two weeks after the flood
                                                           lr i                    ing an~t~ n


                                                                                              a tit                 ~r
                                                                                     Wil ee


                                                                                              4 A     lwn


                                                                       si r b rg
     ittsb rg   nst wn

                                                                                                            iladel       ia

                                                           alti   re

                                            Was ingt n

                                    S s   e anna istrict
Chapter II A New Engineer District Is Formed

   No ordinary domestic disaster Tropical              challenge of the Agnes recovery effort by
Storm Agnes stretched the capacity of emer             putting together a new administrative creature
gency relief structures at all levels to the fullest      the Susquehanna Engineer District SED
There was not just the problem of the damage           to deal solely with work under Public Law
itself there was the problem of how best to            9 6 6 in Pennsylvania and New York The
cope with it Many of the state and local               idea originated with General Richard H Groves
governments in the areas affected were simply          division engineer of the North Atlantic
unable to fulfill even minimum requirements of         Division near the end of June Several factors
a recovery effort Their emergency plans were           convinced Groves that some action had to be
in varying degrees of readiness their leaders          taken within the Corps itself As the Corps of
were often uninformed or inexperienced and             Engineers handled missions assigned by the
their monetary resources were scarce Of course         Office of Emergency Preparedness in the first
some areas responded admirably demonstrating           days after Agnes hit Groves in whose division
unbelievable vitality in the face of over              most of the storm s destruction was located
whelming odds but even they needed help                observed the heavy burden placed on the
   Quick full effective response was a problem         division and on individual districts particularly
at the federal level as well There again the           the Baltimore District Prime considerations in
magnitude of Agnes damage was the deter                evaluating how effectively the Engineers could
mining factor The Department of Housing and            continue to fulfill their Agnes mission were not
Urban Development HUD for example had                  only the amount of disaster related work but
met temporary housing requirements before              also the Corps existing workload How much
but never had the number of units required             responsibility OEP would assign the Corps was
been so high        The U S Army Corps of En           unclear and the existing workload was sub
gineers had much experience removing debris            stantial For example Baltimore District the
but this time the debris was massive The               district most devastated by Agnes had the
Engineers would be asked to do much more in            extremely high Congressional interest job of
the way of recovery while regular Corps                building a new complex for Walter Reed Army
construction projects continued Bureaucratic           Hospital a contract exceeding           million
delay was inevitable particularly at the federal       Moreover it was the end of a fiscal year the
level With varying degrees of success most             most traumatic time that one has in a dis
agencies attempted to deal with such delay and         trict    From the point of view of the Balti
with the overall problem of how best to help           more District Engineer Agnes could not have
the people                                              come at a worse time
   The Corps of Engineers met the growing                 Believing the workload from Agnes justified
a new district Groves got approval from                                 Planning liaison and program development
General Frederick J Clarke Chief of Engineers                         branches seemed unnecessary and Civil Works
to go ahead Groves had dealt with emer                                recommended that personnel and data proc
gencies in the past and according to NAD                              essing functions could be satellited to existing
Deputy Engineer Richard J Hesse :                                     districts
                                                                         On 4 July while the North Atlantic
      It was his repeated observa                                     Division reworked the Susquehanna District
      tion     that there s a great tend                              organization the Chief of Engineers issued
      ency      to go on forever People                               General Order No 9 establishing the U S
      will make a career of one emer                                  Army Engineer District Susquehanna effective
      gency if you will permit them to 4                                7 July That same day NAD issued General
                                                                      Order No 4 directing the Susquehanna Dis
   Groves emphasis therefore was to define                            trict engineer to perform all missions assigned
the problem mobilize the resources                                    under Public Law 9 6 6 in connection
accomplish the mission and extricate those                            with      Agnes Recovery Operations and such
under his command as soon as possible in order                        other missions as may be assigned by NAD or
to concentrate on his division s normal work                          OEP Anticipated mission assignments fell in
load again                                                            the categories of emergency work inspection
   Discussions on the shape of the new or                             work permanent restoration and coordination
ganization were held between Groves ; Hesse ;                         with other agencies
Major General J W Morris director of the                                 Susquehanna District s boundaries enveloped
Directorate of Civil Works in the Office of the                       the Schuylkill and Susquehanna River basins
Chief of Engineers ; the North Atlantic Division                      and included territory normally within the civil
comptroller and others From these meetings                            works boundaries of the Baltimore Phila
emerged a draft structure for the Susquehanna                         delphia and New York Districts Its head
District It was returned to NAD for finaliza                          quarters were placed in Harrisburg Penn
tion on    July after review by the Directorate                       sylvania s state capital to facilitate Corps of
of Civil Works Though Groves and other                                Engineers coordination with and response to
officials at NAD had envisioned a temporary                           OEP and other federal and state agencies Based
district Civil Works felt some of the staff levels                    on information available the second week in
put forward in the initial proposal too high                          July the Corps estimated that justt under
                                             ORGANIZATION OF SUSQUEHANNA DISTRICT

                                                                                                    LIAISON GROUP
                        PHILADELPHIA                      EXECUTIVE OFFICE
                      DISTRICT SUPPORT

             OAS            PAO             SAFETY          OPERATIONS            FISCAL                     PROCUREMENT
                                                              DIVISION                                        AND SUPPLY

                                            OPERATIONS      ENGINEERING      CONSTRUCTION
                                              BRANCH          BRANCH            BRANCH

                    AREAI                                                       I                I                            I
          AREA I   WILKES          AREAS        AREA           AREAS          AREA 8          AREA 7           AREA 8      AREA B
          OWANDA    BARRE         SUNBURY     LEWISTOWN      HARRISBURG        YORK         LOCK HAVEN         READING     ELMIRA
million of work would be handled by Susque         means of making the Corps even more effec
hanna District by October 6                        tive in its flood recovery activities 9 Baltimore
    The decision had already been made by          District Engineer Prentiss whose organization
July that Colonel John F McElhenny deputy          had been dealing with the bulk of the relief
director of postal construction in the Office of   effort now being placed under Susquehanna
the Chief of Engineers in Washington would be      District still felt capable of handling the whole
Susquehanna District engineer McElhenny            job Only later did he view the new district as
was an admirable choice His service with the         the best thing to happen because it allowed
Corps had begun during World War II and in         Baltimore to devote more time to other long
the ensuing years had included positions as        term projects        Groves had recognized that
district engineer of the Jacksonville Fla Dis      the move to establish SED might be a blow to
trict and as commander of engineer troop units     the pride of the Baltimore District He thought
in Europe Korea and Vietnam McElhenny had          Baltimore was doing a good job but they
had some disaster experience while serving with    weren t doing some of the other things they
the Omaha Engineer District in the mid 9 s         were supposed to be doing Groves did not
and the Jacksonville District in the 96 s          want to pay so high a price when he could get
Division Engineer Groves who had known and         another organization to do the job        Now he
worked with McElhenny before believed he           had it
had been given a wonderful leader and a                Trying to put together a district operation in
  very fine officer After conducting a day long    only a matter of days presented a tremendous
briefing for McElhenny Groves never had to         logistical challenge First office space had to be
remind him of his responsibilities again      He   found ; then furniture office machines and
just took it from there the division engineer      telephones installed ; and finally personnel
recalled 8                                         located and transported to the district And all
    General Groves officially announced the for    of these demands arose as the Engineers re
mation of the new Susquehanna District at          covery effort continued to expand
Harrisburg on        7 July and introduced             While a lease for the district headquarters
McElhenny to Pennsylvania Governor Milton J        was being finalized district employees already
Schapp During the next few days the ad             on the scene set up their temporary operations
ministrative transition from the Baltimore Dis     center in a conference room of a nearby motel
trict to the Susquehanna District was carried      Other elements of the district shared office
out smoothly while work on Corps mission           space with the Harrisburg Area Office On 6
assignments continued virtually uninterrupted      July furniture arrived from Philadelphia First
    NAD submitted its final organization            priority was establishing the Susquehanna Dis
 proposal and mission statement on the 9th         trict Operations Center Eleven two man tele
 the job of staffing the new district proceeded     phone crews worked long hours to ready the
 and the General Services Administration made       vital communication lines By the early
 arrangements on 4 July to house the district       morning hours of August the center was a
 office in the U S Steel Corporation Building in   going concern
 Shiremanstown Pa a few miles west of the              As noted Susquehanna District s structure
 state capital                                      was modified from the normal district organiza
    On     July the Chief of Engineers and his      tion in recognition of the district s temporary
 deputy General Groves Colonel Prentiss and         status It was heavy on technical people and
 others were briefed on the Susquehanna Dis         dependent on other districts for administrative
 trict mission and toured Harrisburg Wilkes         support Recognizing that the Philadelphia Dis
 Barre and Elmira It was the first of several       trict had a number of key people who were
 visits made to SED by officials from NAD and       very capable had fairly recent experience with
 the Chief s Office                                 disasters and was both sizable enough and close
    OEP Director George A Lincoln lauded the        enough NAD asked Philadelphia to provide
 establishment of the Susquehanna District as a     legal personnel contract procurement and
    s ly ad inistrative services and data r c                 ac s nville istrict was br g t in as c ie
    essing assistance t S              iladel ia is          c ntract neg tiat r           arles Flac bart
    trict res nded ent siastically t g t e tas                  iladel ia istrict s legal de art ent served
    was de anding                                            as legal c nsel r t e S s e anna istrict
         eneral rder 4 establis ing t e S s e               s ending c ti e n legal details              c ntract
     anna istrict ade t e district engineer                 neg tiati n          e district engineer rig tly
     res nsible r establis ing and aintaining               rec gnized t at c ntract ad inistrati n w ld
      r all ele ents       t e r s          ngineers a      c ntin e t be ne             is a r r ble areas
    single int         c ntact wit t e State and                  r cial t t e verall erati n             S s e
    Federal Agencies inv lved in disaster relie               anna istrict was t e liais n secti n               e
    activities wit in is area       e district engineer     secti n was res nsible r c rdinating all
     ad t divide is ti e between t e district and               r s      ngineers activities wit          and t e
    area      ices and beca se          t e extensive        t er ederal and state agencies inv lved in t e
    da age in       zerne       nty     e s ent c n         rec very e rt S s e anna s liais n secti n
    siderable ti e visiting r ects anaged by t e            ev lved nat rally r t e rganizati n estab
    Wil es arre Area        ice        rdinati n wit        lis ed in arrisb rg by t e alti re istrict
    t g vern ent       icials and brie ings r r s           w en Agnes irst it               ie tenant l nel
          ngineers s eri rs w ic eant a eavy                   arles        astb rn de ty district engineer in
    sc ed le       eetings and travel c nstit ted a            arlest n S           was br g t in t direct
     a r art              l nel      c l enny s b           liais n activities r t e new district           e was
     c l enny esti ated t at w en w r was at its            assisted by a ca tain A civilian re resentative
    b siest e ad as any as t ree tele ne                      r      ittsb rg istrict ined t e t c
    c nversati ns a day l s tw visits a wee wit              rdinate activities between t e tw districts and
    t e rt Atlantic ivisi n engineer al ne                 wit t e single                rganizati n in enn
           e district engineer g t c ntracting              sylvania      iais n wit          s ew r State
    a t rity r all c ntracts ver                     and         ice was carried n directly by t e district
    s ecial a t rity t designate c ntracting               engineer and t e l ira area engineer
        icers a wer s ally reserved r t e ie                      e liais n secti n beca e a central clearing
          ngineers W ere neg tiated c ntracts were               se r in r ati n ab t t e district s
     sed as t ey ten were r bile                  e site    activities     inging tele nes were a c nstant
    c nstr cti n and te rary            se re airs           act      li e    Anyb dy t at ad a esti n
     c l enny as c ntracting             icer beca e          astb rn rec llected            didn t call t e dis
     eavily inv lved in t e lengt y r cess                 trict      ey called t e liais n     icer       ndeed
    de ining c ntract ter s       t was a great leas       c nsiderable ti e was s ent andling in iries
     re         recalled ary Wils n c ie             r     inv lving areas w ere t e r s lac ed re
    c re ent and s ly wit t e iladel ia                    s nsibility At ne              int      r exa le a
     istrict beca se y didn t ave t g bac                    ederal agency re erred ers ns calling it wit
    and tell i w y y did everyt ing              e new         esti ns ab t its wn r gra s t t e r s
    beca se e was t ere       a                                   ngineers r t e answers As astb rn
        n t e S s e anna istrict               xec tive    recalled victi s and agencies                nd very
        ice c l enny was assisted by ie tenant                 ic ly t at i any artic lar r ble ca e
      l nel Willia          rt n      t e Alb er e         t ey w ld get t e astest res nse r t e
     istrict and Al ewbern as de ty district                   r s        At t e state level a a r s rce
    engineer and exec tive assistant res ectively          in iries t t e liais n secti n was t e
      rt n s a r res nsibility was t ee t e                    vern r s Fl d Acti n              ittee a gr
    district and area        ice sta s ncti ning           r nning a t ll ree t line r l d victi s
    s t ly        c l enny s eci ically re ested           Still andling s c calls enabled t e secti n t
     ewbern w       ad been is exec tive assistant             l ill an i rtant ncti n it acted as a
    at ac s nville istrict beca se          is c ntract    screen r t er          ices in t e district
    ex ertise Fl ie          an t er veteran         t e          e liais n      icer n t nly s ent        rs n

t e       ne    e s ent       rs in eetings wit        c rising erati ns c nstr cti n and engi
      and wit      icials r t e g vern r s             neering branc es an arrange ent t e district
    ice and t er agencies        any eetings c         engineer elt best tail red t is issi n
c rred reg larly eac day r wee           t ers were     ie tenant         l nel      rist F        ta s
called wit t n tice         t w enever t ey were       stati ned wit t e Sacra ent istrict as
 eld t e ngineers liais n         icer at t e very     de ty district engineer and at t e ti e
least was ex ected t attend                            act ally inv lved in ig ting a l d in ali
     verall t e liais n secti n s st critical            rnia g t c ntr l        t is cr cial ar      S
activities were its c ntacts wit t e         ice             e erati ns branc was act ally t e
   ergency re aredness And t se c ntacts               district e ergency erati ns center              t e
were ade easier and re e ective by t e                 district war r            t was t e clearing     se
 ers nal relati ns i t at devel ed between               r all re rts r t e ield n r s activities
      s irect r       blic Assistance e Win el         and aintained ar nd t e cl c tele ne and
and S s astb rn               e Win le and were        telec ier c ntact wit t e district s area
cl ser t an any t er tw e le               t ere           ices wit t e e ergency erati ns centers
 astb rn e asized          We ad c n idence and        in t er districts and in ig er ead arters
tr st in eac         t er        at ra      rt was     F ll wing t e attern ad ted earlier in t e
es ecially el l w en it ca e t              tas ing     alti re istrict S s e anna s erati ns
    t e r s w ere initial disc ssi ns ten                   icer a r             as eed ennett was
inv lved a verbal agree ent astb rn elt e              assisted by an area c rdinat r r eac area
c ld reac an nderstanding wit Win le ver                   ice and by c rdinat rs r ailey bridges
a c         c ee any ti e and n w t at it                bile      e sites and ers nnel As erati ns
w ld be g d                                                icer ennett was res nsible r giving
       e sec nd wee in A g st t e S s e                 eri dic brie ings at t e district engineer s sta
 anna istrict s liais n secti n nderwent a              eetings
 a r c ange At t at ti e resident ix n                       ergency erati ns center ers nnel s ent
na ed Fran arl cci an          icial in t e      ice   a great deal     ti e re aring r gress re rts
      anage ent and dget and a Wil es arre             t ee all ele ents in t e r s abreast
native t be is ers nal re resentative in t e           S s issi n stat s S eavy was t e w r
Wy ing alley            arl cci was rdered t           l ad by A g st t at an t er a r ernard
c rdinate all ederal activity in t e area a             acang     t e    isville istrict was br g t in
   ve designed t c t t r g existing b rea              t assist ennett        a tain yd As cra t was
cratic red ta e      n t e t               ved its      tilized t c rdinate ailey bridge activities
 ennsylvania ead arters r             arrisb rg t      and aircra t s       rt wit t e S First Ar y
Wil es arre t be nearer arl cci S decided                    e erati ns divisi n s t er tw branc es
t s lit its liais n secti n in res nse t t ese         engineering and c nstr cti n als layed a r
devel ents and na ed ie tenant l nel                   r les in district activity        ivilian engineer
   ssell A ewitt de ty engineer in t e F rt            Willia ng t e erati ns divisi n de ty
W rt      exas istrict t t e new siti n                direct r s ervised t ese branc es ngineering
Wil es arre liais n      icer                          was res nsible r r lating r reviewing
    S s e anna istrict c ntin ed t aintain              lans and s eci icati ns r r ects inv lving
a liais n secti n in arrisb rg rat er t an ve          t e r s t g              c      t is ty e     w r
t e w le erati n t Wil es arre                     e   was let t rivate arc itect engineering ir s
reas n r t is in l nel astb rn s w rds                    e branc s ig level civilian engineers r
was t at y c ntacts were re wit                    e   vided S area         ices wit c nsiderable tec
Win le t an t ers and wit t e state                    nical advice      nce a c ntract was awarded
Fr t at          int n t e arrisb rg secti n           s ervisi n was trans erred t t e c nstr cti n
  andled all liais n tside zerne           nty         branc c arged wit seeing t at lans and
     nli e t e ty ical district rganizati n S s        s eci icati ns were ll wed ns ecti n was a
   e anna istrict ad an erati ns divisi n               a r activity       t e c nstr cti n branc
     S s e anna          istrict s     blic a airs      c l enny rdered is sta t a e r t
 ad inistrative services and sa ety        ices were   and vig r s res nse t r ble s raised by
  anned by ewer ers nnel t g t eir c ntri              t e area engineers
b ti ns t t e district s s ccess were n net e              eg tiati n and ad inistrati n      c ntracts
less essential S       laced a disb rsing       icer   ins ecti n      area r ects and liais n wit
 wit in its s all iscal            ice a ve t at       l cal c      nities were t e ain c ncerns
district       icials elt essential t gaining t e      an area     ice All b t t e Wil es arre Area
 tr st and c n idence         c ntract rs An t er         ice c rised several c nties
 disb rsing         icer was stati ned wit t e             ac      ice was eaded by an area engineer
 Wil es arre Area         ice t give even greater      b t t e rganizati n varied r       lace t lace
 c ntract ay ent ca ability w ere it was st            de ending n t e size         t e l cal rec very
 needed                                                e rt        s t e Wil es arre arrisb rg and
       e r c re ent and s           ly branc was         rning l ira Area        ices were largest in
   ic ly red ced r its initially r ected size          ter s       ers nnel and t e st c lex in
beca se        t e extensive art iladel ia             str ct re Wil es arre Area          ice     w ic
  istrict layed in t at area ary Wils n c ie             erated d ring ly and A g st r t e
      t e r c re ent and s ly divisi n in               aniel      Fl d le entary Sc l            at ne
    iladel ia at t e ti e was cr cial t t e            ti e ad a axi            ers nnel strengt
s ccess       S s e anna istrict erati ns S e                 w ile axi      strengt      r t e ewis
  ad c nstr cti n c ntracting a t rity            t    t wn Area      ice was ive and r t e r
              exce t in t e case         arc itect     Area     ice eig t n ter s          ers nnel and
engineers w ere s e was li ited t                       rganizati n t e      ice in Wil es arre rese
    at iss Wils n ad any c ntracting a t rity          bled a ty ical district     ice re t an an area
    r arc itect engineers was n s al it was               ice arrisb rg Area         ice was ni e it
n r ally li ited t t e district engineer r is          was c ll cated wit t e district       ice and i
de ty                                                  necessary c ld draw n its e l yees
    A g ented by te rary d ty ers nnel                       e arrisb rg Area        ice divided int
  iss Wils n s sta in iladel ia andled a               s b areas wit a ca tain in c arge        eac As
s bstantial a nt             t e S s e anna is         s b area engineer e ad                c ntracting
trict s c ntract a erw r          W enever ssible      a t rity and c ld exec te n t e s t w r
    ie Wils n saved ti e by signing a ers t at         agree ents e directed a tea           esti at rs
  t erwise w ld ave re ired acti n by t e              ins ect rs and str ct ral electrical and
  eri atetic c l enny           ndreds       esti ns    ec anical engineers      ri arily t eli inate
  n c ntracting were nneled t t e gr              in   n n r d ctive travel ti e t e wanda Area
   iladel ia         e    ice telec ier w ld start        ice sed r ect r resident          ices in eac
 t bee ar nd seven in t e rning                  iss       t e c nties nder its risdicti n            ese
 Wils n recalled         even t         ne      e n    arrange ents r vided g d exa les              t e
 wee ends w en wasn t lanning t c e bac                decentralizati n       a t rity and decisi n
 int      iladel ia Acc rding t ary Wils n              a ing t at c aracterized t e entire r s
  any in t e ield ad li ited c ntract ex                 erati n
  erience b t t ey ad en g sense t call                     e area engineer was t e ey individ al in
 w en t ey were in tr ble We ad a retty                t e ield      ice str ct re    art      is d ties
 c erative          e rt g ing w ic really is all      incl ded res nsibility r verseeing all ases
 t at g t s t r g                                          t e c ntracts nder is s ervisi n             r
       e S s e anna istrict s nine area         ices   r nning an e icient        ice     r aintaining
 ta en ver r t e ew r                    iladel ia     g d blic relati ns and r ee ing acc rate
  and alti re istricts were t e instr ents in          rec rds and a ing re ired re rts ig level
     e ield r acc lis ing S s issi n                   civilian engineers r a rs eaded t e largest
   ec gnizing t at a ri ary ai          t e district   area      ices w ile ca tains were re c
 vas t s           rt t e area        ices     l nel      nly     nd wit civilians in s aller area
   ices       e area engineer s c ntracting           earliest    ssible     ent
a t rity       t          w en S   was irst                 st    t e civilians ad v l nteered       r
activated was a eas re     t e res nsibility          t eir te     rary assign ents     Alt    g t ey
 laced n i                                            c ld stay      n w en t se ended any re
   a r    bert      area engineer in Wil es           t rned      e w ere a ilies and bac l gged
 arre a ter   A g st esti ated t at     e s ent       w r awaited t e          F r s e t e ind
4    ercent    is ti e dealing wit necessary          at s ere inv lved         it see ed t e d estic
c ntract ass ciated     ice   ncti ns s c as          e ivalent        war     was reas n en g t
neg tiati ns signat res and c ntract c anges          c e
An t er 4     ercent      is ti e was s ent              S    relied n t ree ty es         ers nnel
  bserving r ect stat s a        st i    rtant           r s      ngineers ilitary       icers     r s
re ire ent t    ee in r ed      t e c nstantly        civilians n te        rary d ty assign ent and
c anging sit ati n in t e ield      e inal            l cal ires      e largest gr      was te    rary
  ercent          s ti e was dev ted t c              d ty civilians b t t e n ber         l cal ires
 rdinating      r s      ngineers e      rts wit      r se c ntin ally as t e n ber          civilians
t se       t er ederal agencies 3          e w r      declined    ntil early ct ber w en t e strengt
was t g       Area engineers t     criticis and           t e tw gr     s was ab t e al
 ress re r      disaster victi s      nici al and        A s bstantial n ber        t e     icers serving
state     icials and     ngress en     ig teen    r   in t e district were       ld vers a ng t e ca
        r days were c          n    r t e area        tains br g t in late in       ne r     t e ngineer
engineer and t e ey e le n is sta                         icers Advanced        rse at F rt elv ir        A
S s e anna istrict see s         rt nate t     ave    c ange in t e initial gr        cc rred at t e end
 ad a     st c    etent gr           en serve as            ly w en      new     icers were assigned t
area engineers                                        t e district        g t e en in t e irst gr
   W en istrict ngineer c l enny arrived in           were gaining val able ex erience t e             rt
 arrisb rg t e ers nnel needs            t e area     Atlantic ivisi n engineer n l nger wanted
    ices were     ne       is a r c ncerns            t e t       iss classes         leti n      t e ad
  anning t e district          ice was an t er        vanced c rse was a vital ste in t eir
                             istrict t         ver              4
Alt     g    S s e anna                               careers
existing area      ices and t eir ers nnel t e            ilitary n te       rary d ty exce t     r t se
te     rary d ty assign ents            any were       r    F rt elv ir and civilians c st arily
nearing an end        re ver S    s initial er        ca e     r assign ents varying r          3 t 4
s nnel re ire ents were greater t an t e              days t       g l nger stays were n t nc           n
n ber already e l yed           eca se t e     r s     n a    ve designed t relieve ress re n t e
 issi n was c ntin ally c anging still       rt er    districts and t ta a reserv ir         r ven talent
additi ns were ex ected        nder t ese c ndi        any retired       r s      ngineers ers nnel
ti ns t get t get er a w r able sta         at all    b t civilian and ilitary           were recalled t
levels    t e district was a real c allenge           serve as c ntract neg tiat rs a dit rs en
    n a re eat       w at ad cc rred w en t e         gineers ins ect rs and esti at rs A s ecial
Agnes disaster irst str c          te    rary d ty    s rce         te     rary d ty       ers nnel t at
  ers nnel were br g t in       r   all acr ss t e    greatly bene ited t e S s e anna istrict was
c ntry t        an t e S s e anna istrict             t e    ntsville Ala        ivisi n     t e    r s
  y ists sten gra ers engineers dra ts en              ngineers A ni e sit ati n existed t ere
acc ntants ca tains        a rs and c l nels le t       ntsville s n r al issi n         A    issile site
t eir     e districts and ade t eir way by b s        c nstr cti n        ad been signi icantly c rtailed
car train and lane t t e district A late nig t         a ing available a select        l     ig ly    ali
    ne call     ten in r ed       de art re early      ied e le         ntsville sent an es ecially large
t e next day S           s new ers nnel were          c ntingent       engineers t t e disaster area
   ic ly r cessed brie ed and laced at t eir          A ng t e       siti ns t ey eld were       erati ns
 assign ents t e g al being ll activati n at t e      divisi n de ty direct r         arrisb rg and S n
b ry area engineers and ead             t e Wil es      t deter ine w ere ers nnel c ld be s ared
 arre Area      ice c nstr cti n secti n                and w        t ey c ld send        ie tenant l nel
     nder t e directi n         ntsville s er ld         astb rn S s liais n            icer ex lained t at
 anFaasen t e arrisb rg Area                ice in       is district t e arlest n istrict ad t e
 artic lar ade a deliberate e rt t draw                 l west w r l ad in t e S t eastern ivisi n
     n establis ed c ntacts in t e A            r       and t at t er districts in t at divisi n ad
gra A ter all ne artici ant recalled it was             recently nderg ne ers nnel c anges a ing
 re erable t get e le w se ability and                  it di ic lt r t e t s are an wer                    at
 er r ance were n wn               e res lt in t e        e was a lie tenant c l nel and t at e was
 arrisb rg Area      ice at least was a relatively      available decided it        e was t e an r t e
 ig degree       stability and c ntin ity                  b
     t was S s e anna istrict s licy t get                     iladel ia istrict sent              as      l
  en and w en r              l cal c        nities      d wney r its wn ers nnel               ice t serve
w erever ssible         iring s c e le n t nly          as ers nnel liais n r S s e anna istrict
 el ed relieve ne l y ent r ble s gr wing                  ld wney el ed screen ers nnel re ests
   t     t e l d sit ati n it als all wed                r t e area         ices and set ab t t e di ic lt
civilians n te rary assign ent t get bac                tas        inding l cal ires Area       ice re ests
    e earlier and it saved ney              e ver         ad t be reviewed t deter ine i             siti ns
ti e and er die aid t te rary d ty                      were essential and ad been r erly classi ied
 ers nnel generally exceeded ay r t se                  F r exa le re ests ig t call r an en
 ired l cally At irst t ere was a re ensi n             gineer w ere a less ali ied individ al w ld
ab t t eir nderstanding             g vern ent and      s ice iven a tig t s ly and t e ress re
   r s     r ced res b t in arrisb rg               r   ti e ers nnel          icials acted acc rdingly
exa le a n cle s            te rary e le was                  n arrisb rg ld wney was c n r nted
retained t r vide c ntin ity w ile t e l cal            wit t e basic r ble            identi ying a     l
 ire gr       was ex anded                              w r ers State rec rds             revi s e l yees
      cal ires event ally illed all inds                w ld rdinarily ave el ed b t t ey were
   siti ns in ad inistrative r essi nal and             da aged bey nd se              lerical w r ers are
clerical categ ries      e district ers nnel liais n    n r ally in s rt s ly in a state ca ital and
was i ressed by t e ality           engineers ired      n w t er ederal agencies were ex anding
l cally     istrict ngineer c l enny and t ers          t eir wn erati ns a sit ati n a ing c
v iced c raise r t e l cal ires tilized at                etiti n r t e available lab r een
all levels t r g t t e district              e act           S as ed l cal radi and televisi n stati ns
t at nearly all were riends r relatives                 and news a ers r ree advertising t attract
Agnes victi s i n t victi s t e selves gave             a licants          be re c etitive ay rates
t e l cal ires a str ng i et s t a e t e                were ad sted ab ve s al entry levels n t e
district s issi n s cceed         re ver acc rding      early days        ld wney recr ited ers nally in
t ne area engineer an nex ected bene it                 resta rants n t e streets anyw ere t at e
was t eir ability t e ect cl ser liais n between        t g t ali ied e le t                  w r ig t be
t e r s and vari s l cal             icials         n         nd    istrict re resentatives ten ad t
several cases t e r s r ited l ng ter w en                lead and ca le t c nvince a tential e
e l yees ic ed          as l cal ires d ring t e          l yee t at w r ing r t e r s was best
Agnes erati n stayed n a terward                            is was n t t e re erred way           r nning a
     etting ers nnel          w et er ilitary r           ers nnel erati n b t nder t e circ
civilian te rary d ty r l cal ire                 re    stances it was r bably t e nly way And it
sented di ic lties        e ests r te rary              w r ed re ar ably well
d ty assign ents went t r g t e ie s                     s e nat re          t e S s e anna istrict and
    ice and r t ere were rwarded t               r s     its s rces           an wer inevitably created
districts and divisi ns acr ss t e c ntry          ey     ers nnel t rb lence a c nditi n widely rec g
t en ad t l         at t eir wn existing de ands         nized as a r ble wit in t e district S
e l yees b rr wed r        t er districts were     ers nnel t rb lence by accelerating t e se
c nt i ally c ing and g ing     ten wit little    l cal ires and w ere ssible extending te
 r n verla        is was n rt nate beca se s        rary assign ents b t t e r ble re ained
 any e le lac ed ex erience wit               s    n later assess ents      t e district s er
disaster r ced res and beca se s ccess l            r ance nearly all artici ants n ted t e
interacti n wit state and l cal          icials    nsettling e ects       anning a district wit
generally res lted r establis ed ers nal          te rary d ty e l yees           t disagree ent
c ntacts     t t ere was an t er side t t e        ersisted n w ers nnel c anges in l enced
 r ble     isaster erati ns were ysically         district er r ance and n ways t eli inate
draining a ilies needed t eir at ers and          t e w rst as ects    t e r ble
  t ers and     e districts and divisi ns ad          n late ly S leaders and t eir s eri rs
 ng ing issi ns t     l ill F r t e st art          sti iably ex ressed ride in t e anner in
t ese districts ad sent g d e le t S              w ic t ey ad t t get er t eir te rary
and t ey wanted t e bac                            rganizati n     t t ey new t e real test w ld
     ring S s e anna istrict erati ns             be t eir er r ance        existing and t re
s e e rt was ade t alleviate t e e ects            issi n assign ents
Chapter III Debris Removal Mobile Homes
            and Mini Repair

   As noted earlier two of what later became       federal assistance provided if needed The final
the three major Susquehanna District missions      SED effort in the Wyoming Valley        dubbed
   debris removal and mobile home site con          Operation Clean Sweep          occurred on
struction     were underway before SED was         September
established The third mini repair was added           Importantly the overall performance of the
on 8 July the day after SED was formed The         debris removal operations depended a great deal
district s involvement in all cases was based on   on the cooperation of the people as well as the
Office of Emergency Preparedness assignments       Corps ability to contract and supervise the
and followed guidelines provided by OEP in its     work As Captain Calvin F Currington one of
 Federal Disaster Assistance Program Manual        the officers who served as assistant area en
for Applicants OEP Circular 4           C plus     gineer in Elmira said :
several supplemental announcements SED s
area of responsibility included only work                The people with damaged homes
coming under Public Law 9 6 6 as outlined                were willing to go in pull out the
above in Chapter I                                       debris and put it in the street for
                                                         removal Their quick response and
DEBRIS REMOVAL                                           determination helped make that
                                                         part of the program a success They
   Debris removal a category of work which               took a willing and constructive
included clearing streets and streams and                attitude and then went ahead and
demolishing buildings was a traditional disaster         did it
assignment for the Engineers After Agnes
trash had accumulated in waves reflecting the        Collecting the vast quantities of debris left
clean up process First homeowners and busi         by Agnes presented the problem of where to
nessmen threw out water logged furnishings         dispose of it In major disaster areas such as
That task was no sooner completed than the         Wilkes Barre Harrisburg and Corning Elmira
drying out process caused disaster victims to      new landfill sites had to be utilized There were
throw out floor boards doors and other             several such sites in the Wilkes Barre vicinity
damaged structural pieces Even further drying      alone Some were abandoned strip mine pits a
resulted in crumbling walls another source of      fact causing considerable trouble when the
street debris     Under these conditions the       Bureau of Mines and the Environmental Protec
Corps street clean up operations continued         tion Agency EPA used infrared photography
until the end of September when OEP re             and located spots susceptible to spontaneous
assigned the task to local municipalities with     combustion In early August the U S Depart
ment of Interior suggested removing already        mental Resources debris was burned on several
buried trash in the mine pits as a precautionary   islands in the river
measure ; but after study the Corps determined        Closely allied with the Corps of Engineers
that the landfills had been carefully prepared     assignment to clear street debris was the task of
and opposed such action 4 The agencies in          demolishing buildings judged beyond econom
volved resolved their disagreement after a         ical repair and presenting a threat to public
meeting on       September The landfill sites      safety Demolition was permitted only in
would be monitored by drilling six inch diam       municipalities where the Corps had already
eter wells to a depth of   feet                    been tasked to remove debris Local authorities
   In less populated areas considerable debris     as well as state and federal officials attested to
was disposed of through controlled burning         the eligibility of the structures involved Great
This was the case in Pennsylvania s Schuylkill     care had to be taken to be sure owners signed
 River valley where by arrangement with EPA        releases approving the action and stating they
 and the Pennsylvania Department of Environ        would not hold the governments involved re
sponsible for any damages resulting from the     transferred responsibility for demolition to
operation Because they operated only under       local communities as of      November
authority of Public Law 9 6 6 the Corps had         In the hard hit Wilkes Barre area building
to avoid removing buildings condemned as         demolition normally kept a project engineer
unsafe prior to the disaster or buildings        four field representatives and a clerk typist
scheduled to be removed as part of urban         busy full time Between            July and
renewal                                          November the Wilkes Barre Area Office ad
  Hoping to speed the process of demolition      ministered 6      demolition contracts under
OEP in late August permitted the Corps to        which        structures were razed The entire
proceed without prior approval where removal     Susquehanna District contracted for the re
was estimated under                Application   moval of some         private homes and garages
deadlines for building demolition were twice     at a cost of     million
extended to benefit disaster victims And fol        Tropical Storm Agnes raging floodwaters
lowing the pattern of other programs OEP         not only did great damage on land but when
    they receded revealed extensive damage to          managed lump sum supply contracting
    streams and rivers Banks were undermined              Contracts divided rivers and streams into
    trees uprooted and bridges washed away Some        reaches with contractors instructed to remove
    streams were literally choked with debris while    and dispose of all debris within a specified area
    the floodwaters altered the course of others Of    Instructions given the contractor ordered him
    great concern were hundreds of barrels some        to protect and preserve the natural condition
    containing dangerous material swept into the       of terrain and vegetation and enjoined him
    Susquehanna River near Harrisburg and re           from polluting the water 7 Yet OEP generally
    quiring special handling by the Corps In           restrained the Corps from reseeding the sur
    eastern Pennsylvania Agnes flushed nearly five     rounding area a requirement that ultimately
    million gallons of oil sediment and residue from   proved quite troublesome
    the settling ponds of a waste oil processing          Small streams particularly in rural areas
    plant into the Schuylkill River The Environ        presented unique problems Contractors had to
    mental Protection Agency gave the Corps of         gain access to the damaged area perhaps by
    Engineers     6 million to clean it up             cutting a new road Permission was required
       The need to remove refuse from the water        where private property was involved If the
    ways and to restore them to their pre flood        mass of debris to be moved was great the
    condition ultimately made stream clearance a       contractor had no choice but to use large
    major part of the debris removal program Fear      equipment though unwanted damage might
    that more heavy rains might only worsen an         result to the surrounding terrain Time and a
    already devastating situation contributed a        shortage of manpower and small equipment
    sense of urgency but the bulk of stream            were additional factors
    clearance work was done in September and              In larger streams and rivers the magnitude of
    October                                            the operation was usually considerable A con
       In part the delay was due to the more           tractor working a 4 mile stretch of the Susque
    immediate threat presented by other types of       hanna River above Wilkes Barre used log
    debris General Groves who found stream             skidding equipment a log loader bulldozers
    clearance the least successful of traditional      and payloaders and had boats tow cables into
    Corps missions after Agnes assessed the situa      the river channel where they were used for
    tion as follows : We gave it rather low priority   hauling the heaviest pieces of debris to the
    And I guess we probably always will because        shoreline 8 Between       and       October SED
    the first thing you take care of you get people    awarded five contracts in the Towanda area
    under shelter feeding them clothing them           totaling 79         for work in the Susquehanna
    taking care of health hazards and removing the     River three contracts totaling             88 for
    immediate dangers to life and property             Bowman Creek and two contracts totaling
    From the more restricted point of view of a                   for the Towanda Creek 9
    captain in the Sunbury Area Office stream             SED tried to concentrate its efforts on the
    clearance was slowed down primarily because a      Susquehanna River and its major tributaries and
    long and complicated form was initially used       leave the rest up to local governments Whether
    for securing rights of entry 6 The outcome         or not the Corps was responsible for actually
    Groves concluded was that by the time the          performing the stream clearance qualification
    Engineers got around to stream clearance very      for such work under Public Law 9 6 6 had to
    real environmental problems had been gen           be determined in advance This was accom
    erated                                             plished by means of the damage survey report
       The difficulty of estimating how much work      the OEP document required to determine
    was involved and a lack of equipment initially     eligibility and estimate damages for all pro
    led the Susquehanna District to award stream       grams under Public Law 9 6 6 Corps of
    clearance contracts on a time and equipment        Engineers area office personnel participated
    basis On     August however District Engineer      regularly along with state and local officials in
    McElhenny ordered a change to more easily          making the surveys Problems developed in this

area due to inadequate acceptance guidelines       Scranton apply for assistance through other
misunderstanding of the program among local        channels
officials changing cut off dates for the pro          Additional difficulties stemmed from the
gram and lack of experience among the Corps        damage survey process itself One SED area
personnel involved                                 office damage survey coordinator noted dif
   Eligibility requirements for stream clearance   ficulties in balancing federal state and local
were only broadly delineated by OEP at the         views while determining damage assessments a
outset Consequently damage surveyors often         The Sunbury Area Office lacked so simple a
included work that was not intended by OEP to      thing as adequate quad maps a circumstance
fall under the law OEP clarified its position in   that later required redoing several inaccurate
August by providing specific examples of           surveys
eligible and ineligible work but problems con         In many instances local officials failed to
tinued In one instance for example SED             understand that damage survey estimates and
engineers felt work essential to prevent future    scopes of work were subject to OEP review and
flooding only to have OEP declare it in            might subsequently be reduced This created
eligible € At a meeting attempting to over         controversy in instances where local com
come controversy surrounding damage surveys        munities completed stream clearance on their
James Lewis OEP s deputy assistant director        own and then sought reimbursement from OEP
for disaster programs implied that the [Corps      under project application provisions of Public
of Engineers] had reflected on the Damage          Law 9 6 6 Unfortunately it was usually the
Survey Reports that work which the [Corps of       case that the community had first seen the
Engineers] wanted done         as opposed to the   damage survey report thought it final and
minimum amount of work              necessary to   done the work all the while assuming that
satisfy the OEP guideline requirements             everything listed on the original survey would
   Another challenge was to insure that stream     be approved by OEP Many communities found
clearance was limited to debris actually caused    out what was non reimbursable after the work
by Agnes Lieutenant Colonel Christ Potamos         was completed or well underway
SED director of emergency operations ad               The greatest dispute involving stream
dressed this point in instructions given to        clearance arose in Tioga County Pa which fell
officials in the Towanda Area Office :             under the jurisdiction of the Towanda Area
                                                   Office Local citizens and county commis
      Approach the people and be nice              sioners claimed that Corps inspectors had
      about it Get a good idea of what             originally    indicated that bulldozer type
      was there Be careful      There are          clearing was eligible and would be reimbursed
      many pieces of concrete and large            These communities had gone ahead with work
      rocks in some of these rivers The            that sometimes resulted in trapezoidal ditches
      first thing I say is That was not            rather than free flowing streams     s
      caused by Agnes     And if they say             In response OEP ordered the Engineers to
      it was say Prove it                          conduct resurveys during September SED s
                                                   engineering branch organized the project Some
                                                        resurveys were conducted within three
In response to the city of Scranton s desire to    weeks A few surveys continued to authorize
have the Corps clean dredge and deepen the         dozer work though inspectors were generally
Lackawanna River a damage survey report was        less liberal this time than their predecessors had
made in October 97        The survey found 8       been 6 In fact as one of the surveyors
cubic yards of Agnes related material but con      indicated damage survey reports were usually
cluded that most of the debris resulted from       limited to restoring streams to original channels
years of inadequate maintenance        The Sus     rather than clearing debris to flood levels
quehanna District then had to explain why it       because the latter was felt to be impractical An
could not do all the work and recommend that       attempt was even made to underscore what
    work OEP might declare ineligible                   factor alone was responsible for the situation in
       To ease relations with local co ~?munities       Tioga County
    further by explaining ineligible and eligible          When debris removal was complete Susque
    work in Tioga County OEP requested that a           hanna District had let contracts for all types of
    special office at Wellsboro Pa      be manned by    debris totaling 8 million Of that               9
    three representatives of the Corps That work        million was spent by area offices in Pennsyl
    began on 4 September Much time was spent            vania Wilkes Barre Area Office led the way
    by officials at the district level in handling an   with 9 million In New York the Elmira
    understandably large volume of Congressional        Area Office expended approximately 6 6
    inquiries on the situation in Tioga County from     million on this program
    Representative Joseph M McDade of Pennsyl
    vania s th District                                 MOBILE HOME PARK CONSTRUCTION
       A further element of controversy was in
    jected into the stream clearance mission when          With thousands of people homeless in the
    some members of the Pennsylvania Fish and           wake of Tropical Storm Agnes most of them
    Wildlife Commission criticized the manner in        in Pennsylvania s Luzerne County temporary
    which the Corps cleaned up prize trout streams      housing was a serious problem At first emer
    Again the issue centered around the use of          gency public shelters sufficed ; but for long
    heavy equipment At a meeting with com               term community needs and individual peace of
    mission representatives on 9 August SED             mind other types of shelter were essential It
    Liaison Officer Eastburn vigorously defended        was not a question of staying in emergency
    the Engineers Eastburn corrected the erro           quarters until the floodwaters receded and then
    neous assumption that SED was responsible for       returning home to clean up Not when one s
    and controlled all stream clearance projects In     home was totally destroyed washed from its
    fact he pointed out that local communities had      foundations or at the very least still standing
    accomplished most of these projects and             but uninhabitable
    politely suggested that the commission direct          Following tradition government turned to
    its efforts to them The two parties finally         mobile homes to solve the housing problem
    resolved their major differences through com        Though the Disaster Relief Act of 97 pro
    promise                                             vided for the use of mobile homes or other
       As if guidelines geography and local opinion     readily fabricated buildings it was clear to
    were riot enough the stream clearance effort        Pennsylvania state officials in meetings with
    was jeopardized by the inexperience of Corps        federal officials after Agnes that the mobile
    personnel assessing the damage            Colonel   home was the only shelter system in the federal
    McElhenny felt the situation in Tioga County        government s emergency disaster housing pro
    alone pointed up a deficiency in Corps disaster     gram s     The Office of Emergency Prepared
    planning : not enough people were trained and       ness initially assigned the Department of
    qualified to do damage survey work 9 Nor was        Housing and Urban Development with the task
    the Towanda Area Office alone at fault A            of getting the mobile homes establishing a
    civilian who served in the Sunbury Area Office      system for assigning them to disaster victims
    felt the damage survey reports prepared by his      and installing them on mobile home park sites
    office and the Lock Haven office were very          In Pennsylvania the Department of Com
    amateurish and as a result precipitated much        munity Affairs took on the responsibility of
    criticism from OEP and local officials     Indeed   providing land for the group sites and preparing
    he concluded that the lack of experience by         the sites As noted in Chapter I above the
    damage survey teams caused many of the most         Corps of Engineers got involved on July when
    serious Congressional inquiries       The lesson    General Groves signed an agreement with the
    was clear : success in this important mission       state to prepare the mobile home sites Pennsyl
    demanded more adequate preparation At the           vania turned to the Corps according to officials
    same time however it was apparent that no           of the Department of Community Affairs

 because the Corps        [was] the only agency      HUD projections were continually undergoing
with the logistical capabilities to move quickly     revision as the Corps mobile home mission
into an area and place under contract the large      proceeded As in all other areas of what
construction tasks needed in a disaster recovery     eventually became Susquehanna District
operation s At this point HUD the Pennsyl            missions the majority of work centered in
vania Department of Community Affairs and            Luzerne County At a meeting with OEP
the Corps of Engineers each had a role in the        officials on   July the district engineer agreed
mobile home program In New York the state            to construct        trailer pads and design an
rather than the Corps of Engineers handled site      additional         pads as a contingency in
preparation                                          Luzerne County By August Wilkes Barre
   With disaster victims given the alternatives of   area needs had been projected at 7       mobile
living with friends or relatives moving to a new     home pads ; on the 6th the total requirement
community placing a mobile home on an                for temporary housing of all kinds in Luzerne
individual site or returning home it was             County was set at         units
extremely difficult to estimate group site needs        From the start emphasis was placed on
     completing site construction as fast as possible    488 unit site planned in early August for
     People needed the housing and an early winter       Wilkes Barre s Hollenback Park a municipal
     was feared OEP Director George A Lincoln set        golf course was dropped on 8 September
     the pace on      July when he said there would      because of the reduced need for mobile homes
    be          pads completed by the end of             in the area A site under design for the Sunbury
     August      OEP wanted all temporary housing        Area Office was later eliminated for the same
     placements made by       September                  reason HUD even began to rent some mobile
       General Groves told SED officials that North     homes to contractors to house their personnel
    Atlantic Division and Susquehanna District           On 4 September HUD revealed that three sites
      would stand or fall on whether we make that         7 pads then under construction in Luzerne
    target 4 Though the statement was probably          County were to be reclassified as standby
    an exaggeration it indicated the priority           sites for use only if additional mobile homes
    attached to the mission SED was required to         were needed One of these sites Valley View
    make daily progress reports to the Chief s          cost 99          to complete Reasons given for
    Office and NAD on the status of mobile home         the initial demand for trailers in group sites
    site construction and the number of pads            falling short include the establishment of in
    turned over to HUD for actual placement of          dividual sites the use of travel trailers the
    trailers                                            temporary repair program and public dis
       In the early stages of the program scenes of     pleasure with sites located in remote areas 6
    angry flood victims besieging government               The Corps of Engineers mobile home mission
    offices and officials with inquiries about delays   included responsibility for design which was
    in getting housing were common Difficulties         contracted to local architect engineering firms
    obtaining trailer site approval and moving          They generally were asked to complete the
    trailers to the disaster area combined with         design in a matter of days a real challenge given
    some administrative blunders largely accounted      the variety of areas proposed as group sites
    for the flood victims frustrations Split re         According to an official in the Harrisburg Area
    sponsibilities within the group site program        Office the designers having been instructed to
    added another dimension to the problem              avoid creating instant ghettoes set trailers at
       Geography presented difficulties at several      angles and planned curving roads to give the
    sites supervised by the Wilkes Barre Area           feeling of suburbia instead of temporary con
    Office     Extensive quantities of rock were        struction
    encountered on four sites high water table was          Mobile home site contracts managed by the
    encountered on two others and previous landfill      Susquehanna District initially provided for site
    operations left another site unstable          At    preparation and distribution of water elec
    Coal Brook the latter site concern over the          tricity and sewage facilities The mission was
    presence of methane gas led to the use of            subsequently broadened On 7 July Chief
    ventilation tubes to prevent explosion A one         Engineer Frederick J Clarke announced that
    to three week lag between site completion and        the Corps had been tasked to take over utility
    occupancy due to delays in delivery and             hook up from HUD on group sites in Luzerne
    hook up of units at times jeopardized the            County Although the order was rescinded
    program                                              three days later the Corps remained ready to
       The Susquehanna District inevitably fell         help if necessary In fact General Groves in
    behind in its ambitious schedule particularly in     structed SED to provide whatever assistance
    Luzerne County ; but in the long run it hardly       HUD requested with its part of the trailer
    seemed to matter On September for exam              program s
    ple the district reported slippage on its comple       On     September OEP tasked the Engineers
    tion dates while noting that HUD was having         to design a natural gas pipeline for the 8 pad
    difficulty finding families to move into already    Harvey Roer project in Luzerne County as well
    finished units The occupancy rate on some           as natural gas systems utilizing bulk propane for
    completed sites was only 4 percent A                other group sites The Corps accepted responsi

bility for gas hook ups at Harvey Roer on            Knudsen of Boise Idaho a firm soon to be
October after the proposal had been offered          heavily involved in the district s mini repair
and withdrawn offered again and declined and         program Colonel McElhenny and his executive
offered a third time all within three days           assistant met personally on September with
   Susquehanna District took on another              representatives of Morrison Knudsen to work
responsibility when on 4 September District          out details of a letter contract The contract
Engineer McElhenny entered into a letter agree       which called for the installation of natural gas
ment with the Pennsylvania Department of             to approximately           individual trailers was
Community Affairs to contract for the installa       awarded two days later         McElhenny assigned
tion of package sewage treatment plants at           Major James A Brueggeman of the Missouri
mobile home sites too distant from existing          River Division to serve as contracting officer
sewage facilities In fulfilling its mobile home      representative for this project
assignment the Corps was acting as contracting           The Morrison Knudsen assignment involved
agent and manager for a significant phase of the     excavating trenches to carry gas lines to in
federal disaster relief program A major was          dividual trailer sites The company organized
placed in Harrisburg to serve as overall co          their workers into nine man teams giving them
ordinator for mobile home site construction It       a capability of digging some          trenches per
was district practice to assign an engineer          day By 9 September HUD had identified
officer as project engineer for each of the larger   approximately 9 units for hook up On the
sites or several smaller sites                          nd SED exercised the government s option
   Inspectors whose job it was to assure con         and added another           units to the contract
tract compliance coordinate changes keep the             Under the federal government s temporary
contractor on schedule maintain safety stand         housing program trailers had been placed on
ards and document progress and problems were         lots alongside damaged homes or on other sites
as always a key to successful Corps perform          designated by the applicant This presented
ance Captains from the Engineer Officers             some logistical problems The task was com
Advanced Course at Fort Belvoir and civilians        plicated further by administrative errors :
on temporary duty or local hire engineers per         duplication on lists of trailers assignment for
formed these tasks                                   gas hook up of trailers actually set up to receive
   The first and major phase of Susquehanna          electricity or use oil heat and assignment of
District s mobile home park construction              trailers that didn t exist
mission was officially completed on              6       The contractor was also delayed beyond the
September when 67 8 pads were reported               initial        September completion date by a
finished on 6 sites statewide Of those 4 6            special assignment at one of the group sites and
pads were located on 9 sites in Luzerne              by the added task of making conversions from
County                                               liquid to propane gas Morrison Knudsen com
   Until September SED s involvement with             pleted its work in mid October after con
mobile homes was limited to group sites ; but on     necting 94 trailers at a unit cost of       7
   September it was agreed during the course of          The Corps mission to develop group mobile
the daily staff meeting of Presidential Repre         home sites entered Phase II at the beginning of
sentative Frank A Carlucci that Susquehanna           October Divided into two parts this phase
District would provide natural gas hook ups to        included paving roads putting in sidewalks
trailers on individual sites in the Wyoming           providing mail boxes and trash can holders
Valley area The need for such action was clear :      seeding correcting drainage problems and
as of 8 August HUD had placed            trailers     erecting prefabricated buildings and air
 on individual sites but only        had received     supported recreational facilities Phase II con
gas connections The demand simply exceeded            struction was completed by          November The
 the capabilities of local contractors utilized by    plan to utilize air bubbles was ultimately
 HUD                                                  scrapped because bids received for the work far
    The designated contractor was Morrison            exceeded government estimates

    Support of HUD in the mobile home pro            MINI REPAIR
gram for a time included performing necessary
repairs to individual units The Wilkes Barre            The federal government undertook a unique
area engineer Major Robert Cook recom                program after Agnes that was designed to allow
mended assembling a team of Air Force en             flood victims to move back in to their flood
gineers under control of his office to complete      damaged homes The program aptly named
the work A total of 4 men from Air Force              mini repair envisioned minimal repairs below
  Red Horse and Prime Beef units arrived in          the second floor of eligible homes The aim was
Wilkes Barre between       and     August By         to restore essential utilities safety and security
October they had completed repairs to 9 4            and thereby to bolster the spirit of flood
mobile homes on individual sites and           on    victims and stabilize badly damaged neighbor
Corps constructed group sites The exercise was       hoods
one more example of valuable support given the          Because of the temporary nature of the
Corps by other military units                        program repair costs on individual dwellings
    Only four months after the Corps of En           were limited to               For any group of
 gineers completed construction of group site        homes repairs were expected to average
 pads William Wilcox secretary of the Pennsyl
 vania Department of Community Affairs
 reached a sad conclusion The experience in
 Pennsylvania after Agnes in Wilcox s view
 represented the waterloo of the mobile home
 as far as using it for temporary housing in a
 major disaster 4 His department estimated
 that the federal government had wasted
 million in the Wilkes Barre area where only
 about      percent of the pads prepared by the
 Corps of Engineers were ever occupied by flood
 victims      In fact Pennsylvanians preferred
 individual trailer sites over group sites by a
 margin of nearly two to one
     These assessments     however     gave SED
 officials little reason to feel their performance
 lacking The attitude expressed by Secretary
 Wilcox and echoed by others actually reflected
 exasperation with the red tape involved the
 difficulty in acquiring transporting and distrib
 uting mobile homes the condition of the
  homes upon arrival and the public s preference
  for other housing Amid such considerations
  hardly a complaint was registered relating to
  the Corps role in the mission
     Compared with the overall rate of comple
  tion on temporary housing units after Hurricane
  Camille in 969 the record for all areas
  affected by Agnes was little short of phenom
  enal More units were provided in a six week
  period in 97 than in a six month period in
    969 and Susquehanna District clearly helped
  establish that record
Mini repair aimed at housing people fast The       of the Susquehanna District
process from damage estimate to award of con          In Pennsylvania OEP focused mini repair on
tract and start of work was completed in five      Luzerne and Dauphin Counties comprising the
days and contractors were given two weeks to       cities of Wilkes Barre and Harrisburg and in
complete the repairs To further speed the pro      New York on the Corning Elmira area HUD
gram houses were initially contracted in pack      was responsible for identifying houses eligible
ages of five in order to involve small local con   for the program ; the Corps of Engineers made
tractors in the repairs                            damage estimates established a scope of work
   Disaster victims were expected to carry out     contracted for repairs and conducted inspec
total rehabilitation with loans obtained from      tions Eligible work included repairs to
the Small Business Administration or other         plumbing electrical heating and hot water
sources Once again the Office of Emergency         systems ; outside doors and windows broken
Preparedness turned to the Corps of Engineers      stairs and buckled floors ; and steam cleaning
to implement the major part of the program         and extermination Painting wallpapering
The task: was assigned to the Engineers on 8       plastering air conditioning repairs replacement
July almost simultaneously with the activation     of appliances and work on ceilings and interior
walls and l rs exce t w en nsa e were            ti n nits and active S Ar y c nstr cti n
excl ded                                         battali ns r its esti at rs and ins ect rs
    sti ati n and ins ecti n engaged a large         eing an ntried r ect in a disaster sit a
n ber        e le d ring t e eig t         t e   ti n    t e   ini re air   r gra       nderwent
 r gra     S    c w r was inv lved r t e         c anges and resented new r ble s as w r
Wil es arre Area      ice by t e end    A g st    r gressed      s n      A g st residential
     3    es ad been deter ined eligible and      e resentative Fran arl cci directed t e
     were nder c ntract      t at re t an 4        r s t begin incl ding irst l r wall ins la
 ers nnel were directly inv lved At t is int     ti n in ini re air c ntracts w ere needed     e
Wil es arre s ini re air sta itsel rese bled     c ange ca e artly as a res lt      c ncern ver
a large r s      ngineers resident   ice W en    lac       ins lati n v iced by t e ie
t e r gra irst started in Wil es arre t ere       ngineers a ter a visit t ini re air sites 3
was nly a s all sta          eaded by an Ar y     ns lati n ad been t rn t and t r wn away
ca tain      e r s relied eavily n l cal         beca se     wetting in s e 4 ercent         t e
arc itect engineers and n n n c issi ned             es nder re air A ars winter it was
   icers r Air F rce ed rse c nstr c              eared c ld again a e t e nlivable
     x erience wit t e r gra als res lted in           t ree ir s 3              ses eac At t e ti e t e
a revised c leti n date          3 ct ber rat er       new c ntracts were iss ed           l cal c ntract rs
t an 3 Se te ber ncertainty as t t e sc e              were already in t e r cess             re airing
     t e r gra was a c nstant c ncern            t e        es          nit r t e n w ra idly ex anding
   r s as it was in st areas        disaster relie       ini re air activity in Wil es arre S sent
     icient er r ance re ired a eeling r               its      erati ns        icer     a r          as
w ere t e r gra was g ing artic larly r                  ennett n te rary assign ent as r ect
   w any nits were ex ected t be re aired              engineer
S s e anna istrict aintained                t date            l nel c l enny later attrib ted t e
stat s re rts n t e r gra and at t e rging             s ccess       S s e anna istrict s ini re air
      ivisi n ngineer r ves e t a detailed                erati ns t t e tside ir s artic larly
c art     t e issi n s r gress 3                          rris n n dsen 4            wever t e decisi n t
     n res nse t       l nel c l enny s desire t         se n n area c ntract rs ca e in t e idst           a
  in d wn t e agnit de           t e r s ini           c ntr versy in Wil es arre inv lving l cal c n
re air c it ent in Wil es arre Fran                    tract rs and rganized lab r ne Wil es arre
 arl cci establis ed an a licati n deadline            c ntract r w wanted re w r and dis
     Se te ber 3         ere was n t er way t          agreed wit t e district s assess ent t at e
end t e r gra            r was t ere any t er way      lac ed ca ability g t is ngress an t in
t e r s c ld g arantee t at              se re airs        ire w y e wasn t getting t e w r                  e
w ld be c lete be re c ld weat er                      answer was clear as ar as l nel c l enny
      nitially t e l ira Area          ice greatly     was c ncerned           e ad instr cted t e area
  nderesti ated blic res nse t ini re air              engineer in Wil es arre t ee l cal c ntrac
  x ecting ab t              es t be acce ted r        t rs in ini re air s l ng as t ey er r ed
t e r gra t e            ice was verw el ed wit        satis act rily b t t e c ntract r in esti n
re ests        re t an            es in ew r s           ad ailed t c lete any                 t e         es
    e ng and Ste ben            nties were lti         already assigned4
  ately re aired A licati ns t ere ad t be                 Wanting t d n t ing t e ardize t e
c t        n     A g st                                  r gra and eeling t ere was still lenty
      n    Se te ber        l nel c l enny in            t er w r available r l cal c ntract rs
    r ed arl cci t at S intended t bring                 residential e resentative arl cci           eld t is
   tside c ntract rs t Wil es arre t assist in             r s licy             el     iet t e ng ing c n
  ini re air arl cci agreed wit c l enny s             tr versy in Wil es arre ass rances were given
assess ent t at t e esti ated 3                 4      t at rris n n dsen                ler Atlas and S
      es in Wil es arre were bey nd t e                w ld a e every e rt t e l y l cal lab r
ca abilities      l cal c ntract rs € eg tiati ns            n      Se te ber c l enny et wit
wit        n     ler a iladel ia ec anical                    s Francis          arney and rged a li ited
c ntract r were already nderway and dis                increase in t e 3             ceiling r re airing
c ssi ns s n           ll wed wit         icials       individ al         es       ring t e c rse         t e
   rris n n dsen nc t e da               ir already    w r it ad devel ed t at s e re airs
  er r ing bile            e gas           s r t e       riginally esti ated at less t an 3             w ld
  ngineers y 4 Se te ber a inal decisi n               c st re and t e district engineer wanted
was ann nced             r tside c ntract rs were      a t rity t g bey nd t e li it wit t
t be sed t asten                e re airs in t e       sec ring          assent n eac case           w days
Wil es arre area                                       later a ter gaining a r val r                   icials
      n additi n t      rris n n dsen and        ler   in Was ingt n arney a t rized an increase
 t e r s selected tw t er iladel ia ir s                t 3              e c ange was li ited t           ses
     Atlas eating and          ling and S nc              re erred by            t t e       r s       w ic
   ese ir s acce ted letter c ntracts c vering              n investigati n were sc ed and esti ated
             es in      zerne       nty      rris n     t c st less t an 3            b t were later     nd t
  n dsen t         n            ses and t e t er        re ire re airs exceeding 3 43

           n     ct ber c l enny re ested an t er                  e sec nd r ble area in t e Wil es arre
     increase in a t rity t g t 4                  r         area engineer s view ca sed re ard eelings
          ses and t 4        in t e case     3    t ers      between t e r s and t e c             nity t an
         e nits in esti n were stly eavily                   any t er 4 • A rat er eated c ntr versy
     da aged lder         es in s t Wil es arre and          devel ed in early ct ber ver t e city
       ingst n t e w r inv lved was generally                Wil es arre s insistence t at city ins ect rs
     electrical and ec anical          is ti e e rge         a r ve ini re air w r           e r s      siti n
       race assistant direct r r disaster r gra s            was t at t e city ad n b siness w rrying
                re sed t e re est s ggesting t at            ab t te rary re airs alt g it was
          es ex ected t exceed existing li its be            entirely r er r t e t re ire t at eating
     re ected nless t ey were already cc ied n               and electrical w r eet city c des 4 A ter
     t at case t e excess w r s ld be a lied r                 int ins ecti ns were ade between t e 4t
       nder a l an r t e S all siness Ad                     and t         ct ber         as      ennett c n
      inistrati n        wever race did a r ve a ive         cl ded t at t e r s c ld nly see t
       ercent verr n w ic was inter reted t ean              identi y valid vi lati ns and c rrect t e A ter
     t at ive ercent          t e     ses in t e r gra       t at t e city w ld ave t ta e ver
     in zerne           nty ab t           c ld exceed            ring t e c rse      its ini re air issi n
     t e 3         nit c st                                  t e r s          ngineers again enc ntered
         S s e anna istrict             ten ad t c              blic c n si n       ere was a tendency t
       rdinate its r gra s wit si ilar nes being             distr st ederal      icials and t e in r ati n
       nderta en at t e state and l cal level n t e          t ey r vided Als        e le si ly t g t t e
     case        ini re air liais n was ri arily re          g vern ent s ld d          re n t is case w at
         ired wit t e Wil es arre edevel ent                 needed t be stressed t t e was t at
     A t rity a city agency w se wn interi                    ad n t nly li ited t e ty e        re airs b t
     assistance r gra directed at s t Wil es                 als t e a nt           ney t at c ld be s ent
       arre was erated wit            nds btained r          A signi icant n ber        c laints ertained
                 nteri     assistance rese bled ini          t t e ality           car entry w r       ndeed
     re air exce t t e r er r gra incl ded                   war ing event ally cc rred beca se d r and
     w r ab ve t e irst l r c nsidered its re airs           wind w ra es were still drying t and airly
     t be er anent and establis ed n d llar                  l w     ality w d was sed b t t is was
     li it                                                   act ally ex ected ini re air a ter all was
             ncern ar se w en t e S s e anna is              te rary it atte ted t give a            e wner a
     trict realized t at s e         es c ntracted nder      d r w ere t ere was n ne t r vide t e
     interi assistance were als enr lled in ini               ini al sec rity r cc ying a            e ater
     re air An agree ent was reac ed t at t e                wit t e assistance        a l an r t e S all
       edevel ent A t rity w ld acce t s c                      siness Ad inistrati n t e wner w ld c r
       nits nly a ter ini re air w r was c                   rect initial i er ecti ns er a s tilizing t e
       leted Fran arl cci s             ice advised t e      sa e c ntract r riginally ired by t e r s
     victi s inv lved in ini re air t at t ere is                n t e t er and t ere were s e b
     n t ing t be gained by switc ing t t e                  vi sly sti iable c laints in t is as in t er
        nteri        sing r gra 44 y establis ing             r gra s      st ar se r delays in c nstr c
     t e val e        b t r gra s arl cci a arently          ti n      delays w ic s ally res lted r
      averted a sit ati n tentially disr tive t t e          extensive s bc ntracting and r            r ge
       verall      sing e rt                                 gra ical rganizati n         w r 4        laints
             w a r r ble s were enc ntered wit                re ently res lted in letters       in iry r
        t e inal ins ecti n ase           ini re air    ne     e bers        ngress A ter r ical St r
        inv lved c laints t at t e ins ect rs were           Agnes t e ress re was n s ally intense in
        citing c ntract rs r ail re t c lete w r             t e ini n        t e Wil es arre Area        ice
        w ic was never intended t be incl ded in t e         n t nly beca se      t e severity     t e da age
         r gra         is sit ati n re ired c ntin al        b t als beca se it was an electi n year
           nit ring     t e ins ecti n r cess                 evert eless it was r s traditi n t treat

s c in iries t r g ly               e Wil es arre    s ervisi n         t e Wil es arre Area         ice
Area       ice even ad s ecially designated            r ect c ie            r t e r gra was           r
 e le in its ini re air secti n t andle                r d s i w was attac ed t t e iladel ia
c laints Since t e establis ed i age           t e     avy ase and v l nteered r service in S
  r s       ngineers r res nsiveness was at                ree ti es         extended t e wer t t e
sta e       icials later related       every e rt      e le r gra d e t its s ccess and t e
was ade t         r erly       ll w       n every    c ntin ed de and r rest rati n               wer in
in iry 4                                             t e Wy ing alley            y t e ti e t e r gra
    lainly      r s e l yees did n t always ind      was c leted n              ct ber      wer ad been
t e li itati ns        t eir rders easy As ne        rest red t 3             es
esti at r w r ing t              t e l ira Area           y t e ti e t e ini re air r gra was
   ice said at t e ti e                              ended t e S s e anna istrict ad verseen
                                                     t e c leti n          3     nits at a c st     ab t
      S eti es y     eel s rry r t e                            illi n All b t            t e nits were
       e le i t eir       e is da aged               l cated in t e area        Wil es arre     rning and
      and t ere is n way t e     e can                 l ira A a rity              t e w r was acc
      be ade livable r 3         t ind                 lis ed in st six wee s          residential re re
         tears y      t at y can t d                 sentative arl cci elt t e e rt re resented an
        re r t e v                                       tstanding er r ance           can t verstate t e
                                                     r le t e r s              ngineers and t eir c n
 n s e res ects       wever      e wners ade         tract rs ave layed in r viding c needed
  t ite well any te rary re airs act ally                 sing t t e l d victi s               wit t eir
t rned t t be er anent i r ve ents                    acc lis ent            t e ini e air r gra
  is was s ally tr e in t e case     re airs t         arl cci c ncl ded
 eating and t water syste s and electrical                  rt Atlantic ivisi n ngineer r ves
re airs F r exa le w en it was disc vered             ter ed ini re air t e st s ccess l by ar
t at da aged nits were s ld t at re lace                  t e r s            ngineers r ects a ter
 ent arts c ld n t be          nd sc res                r ical St r Agnes W y                  eca se it
  rnaces were re laced rat er t an re aired           br g t s int c ntact wit e le re
   A si ltane s issi n t at s g t g als               directly and ab ve all it e t e le in t eir
si ilar t ini re air b t n a s aller scale was             es         a tain e rge        Sn w a r ect
d bbed      wer t t e e le           t was als        engineer in t e l ira Area        ice believed t e
an t er exa le      s    rt given t e S s e            r gra ad an i rtant syc l gical e ect
 anna istrict by ilitary nits in t is case             n disaster victi s at a ti e w en t ey really
t e avy Seabees Seabees n te rary d ty                needed a li t      W en y tell a a ily t at y
 r       r aval bases tside ennsylvania               are g ing t assist t e in re airing t eir
were assisted by avy ers nnel r t e                       e Sn w declared t ere are n w rds
  iladel ia avy ase and v l nteer elec                t at can describe t e relie and gratit de t at
tricians in t e aval eserves       eginning           a ears n t eir aces 3 Wil es arre Area
  ly t ey ade ins ecti ns       eavily da aged          ngineer           t it very si ly       ini re air
    es in zerne       nty nder t e general            was a real anitarian e rt4

Chapter IV = Secondary Mission Assignments

   In addition to its major missions   debris    Pennsylvania signed on          July made the
removal mobile home site preparation and         Engineers responsible for delivery erection and
mini repair Susquehanna District had others      removal of the bridges The state was to provide
not so grand but of none the less crucial        necessary land and maintenance
importance to disaster recovery Three such          The entire operation was another area of
tasks were temporary bridging public utility     disaster recovery activities requiring close co
repair and project application support           ordination between the Corps and state and
                                                 federal officials To assist the liaison officer
TEMPORARY BRIDGING                               Captain Boyd D Ashcraft of the U S First
                                                 Army 76th Engineer Battalion was brought to
   Tropical Storm Agnes destroyed more than      the district as bridge coordinator Since all
     bridges in New York and Pennsylvania and    elements in the Corps chain of command were
the Corps of Engineers was called upon to help   vitally interested in Susquehanna District s
replace the most critical of them Demonstrated   accomplishments a significant part of the
inability to do the work on the part of state    bridge coordinator s job was submitting reports
and local governments and proof that a real      to higher headquarters
threat to safety health or the economy existed      For temporary bridging the Corps generally
were required before Corps intervention Where    utilized U S Army Bailey type bridges Stored
feasible the Corps erected temporary crossings   in Army depots around the country Bailey
utilizing corregated pipes but engineering re    bridges are used primarily to provide temporary
quirements sometimes necessitated more           crossings during times of war The structures
sophisticated bridging or prohibited a tem       have the advantage of mobility and versatility
porary solution altogether                       The bridge is mobile because it comes in
   Initial mission assignments for temporary     sections that are easily transported and
bridging came from the Office of Emergency        versatile because the same standard parts can be
Preparedness when Baltimore District was still   designed to carry a variety of loads depending
handling the Corps response in the Susque         on expected traffic Bailey bridge sections were
hanna River basin but most of the work was        readily obtained through the U S Army
accomplished by the Susquehanna District          Mobility Equipment Command MECOM from
Arrangements were eventually made between         the Marion Army Depot Marion Ohio They
the district and the departments of transporta    had one additional advantage : they could be
tion in Pennsylvania and New York covering        rapidly constructed
the installation financing maintenance and           The Pennsylvania Department of Transporta
removal of the bridges The agreement for          tion proposed sites for temporary bridges to the

Corps after which an inspection was conducted        The Orangeville Bridge in Columbia County
to determine feasibility Deciding to go ahead        Pa    completed     July and turned over to the
with a project was not always easy There were        state the following day collapsed on the 6th
a multitude of considerations from the geog          under the weight of a tractor trailer loaded with
raphy of the site and community need to the          animal feed The bridge buckled under weight
length of existing detours                           nearly double its capacity A bridge in Sunbury
    In cases of disagreement or complicated          was also truck damaged but did not collapse As
alternatives meetings were held between              a result the Susquehanna District launched a
officials of the Corps the Federal Highway           concerted campaign to warn residents in the
Administration and the Pennsylvania Depart           disaster area of the dangers posed by the
ment of Transportation As a result not every         temporary spans In September the Corps
proposed bridge was built A case in point was        acting at the request of the state replaced the
Pennsylvania s desire to have a bridge erected at    Orangeville span
Keating in Clinton County District personnel            Agnes raging floodwaters destroyed the five
felt it more practical to use a nearby railroad      span bridge over the Susquehanna at Laceyville
bridge than to erect a Bailey        a move that     but the length of the crossing presented too
would save 6                State officials found    difficult and expensive an engineering problem
this solution unsatisfactory An impasse re           for a temporary Bailey bridge Instead a four
sulted and the Engineers never put up a              float raft propelled by two 7 foot bridge
temporary bridge at the site                         erection boats was brought from Fort Belvoir
   Altogether Susquehanna District let con           Va and elements of the U S First Army           th
 tracts for     Bailey bridges      4 in Pennsyl     Engineer Battalion were deployed to man the
vania and one in New York Largest of the             operation
bridges was the 47 foot span placed over the            The raft would be needed for at least one
Chemung River in Elmira Engineers accom              and one half years but the Army wanted
plished the feat in just       days The district     Pennsylvania s Department of Transportation
utilized technical advisors from the 76th            to take it over as soon as possible Corps of
Engineer Battalion to supervise the construc         Engineers personnel involved in trying to effect
tion Once erected temporary Bailey bridges           a transfer of responsibility for the rafting
were turned over to the state for maintenance        operation cited the high cost of maintenance
Most problems associated with the mission            fuel and temporary duty pay         By     August
arose in that area                                   Colonel Charles E Eastburn the district liaison
    Susquehanna District voiced repeated             officer was strongly recommending that the
 concern when inspections revealed sagging           Army establish a definite cut off date for the
braces loose clamps and missing safety pins in       ferry service as a means of jarring the state into
 completed structures An inspection tour in          action A group of local citizens even tried to
 mid September led the Sunbury Area Office to        acquire a raft they could maintain themselves
 conclude that maintenance was being con             but failed 6 Interest of Congressman Joseph
ducted by individuals which do not understand        McDade of Pennsylvania s             th District
 how their actions effect the life of the            apparently was largely responsible for con
 bridge    In fairness it should be noted that the   tinuation of the rafting operation under mil
 whole situation was aggravated by the lack of       itary auspices Ultimately the raft at Laceyville
 clearly defined responsibility Still Susque          remained under Army supervision from July
 hanna District employees spent considerable          to      November during which time over
 time attempting to keep abreast of problems                   was expended
 for which they were technically not respon              Dismantling the temporary bridges and
 sible                                                returning the sections for reuse in other disas
    One bridge failure occurred early in Susque       ters or time of war was costly The average
 hanna District s operations but the incident         expense per bridge was             and the Corps
 was not related to maintenance or construction       estimated that Fishing Creek Bridge at Orange

ville would run as high as 4            7 Trans    approximately       9 million was committed
portation for each set of bridging from any        The district took over the largest project the
where in Pennsylvania to the Marion Depot was      restoration of the Wyoming Valley Sanitary
another cost factor By September 974 only          Authority and carried on until September
four of the     bridges erected by Susquehanna     when the facility was partially operational and
District had been removed Corps personnel in       OEP terminated Corps responsibilities Involve
the Harrisburg Resident Office Baltimore Dis       ment of the Engineers was vital as the Wyoming
trict were given responsibility for coordinating   Valley plant served 4 municipalities collected
the task after     November 97                     waste from 9 pumping stations and was
                                                   serviced by    miles of sewer line Not only the
PUBLIC UTILITY REPAIR                              main treatment plant but also most of the
                                                   pumping stations were flooded High water
   The Susquehanna District helped out again in    from the Susquehanna washed one station
cases where public utilities water supply and      completely away
sewage collection and treatment facilities            Relatively late in the Susquehanna District
were damaged beyond capabilities of local          mission OEP asked the Corps to restore the
government to make repairs in a reasonable         standby water treatment filtration system and
period of time OEP tasked SED to make repairs      water pumping station on City Island and at
on the Tunkhannock Dam northeast of Wilkes         Front and North Streets in Harrisburg This was
Barre on the DeHart Dam controlling Harris         one case where the Engineers returned a request
burg s central water supply and on scattered       to OEP with the suggestion that the work
water facilities where real emergency situations   would be better accomplished through a project
prevailed but most of the 84 water systems         application from Harrisburg        The Corps
damaged in Pennsylvania were repaired without      decision came after an inspection by the Harris
Corps assistance Sewage plants on the other        burg area engineer and his assistant determined
hand presented a greater challenge particularly    that the system which was not the state
 in Harrisburg and in Luzerne County where         capital s primary source of water was too
antiquated to repair A major factor was the          for Pennsylvania and New York flowed from
indeterminate cost : an original damage survey       OEP through this section Thereafter close
report had already been revised by nearly            interaction with SED s fiscal branch was a
percent The area engineer thus recommended           necessity : the goal for processing advance pay
that the city replace the facility rather than       ments was 4 hours
attempt to repair it and OEP subsequently              The district processed its first project
withdrew the request                                 application on        July and made the first
   The district engineer thought this episode a      advance payment on        August At the outset
good example of how the federal government           the workload was light so the section took the
put engineering advice from the Corps to good        opportunity to refine and consolidate its pro
use in making decisions related to disaster          cedures The move paid off When district
recovery‚ In Colonel McElhenny s words : OEP         involvement with the program reached its
never tried to override us if we did not feel we     height in September the project application
should do something 9                                section processed 6 applications and dis
                                                     bursed 7 advance payment checks in one
PROJECT APPLICATION SUPPORT                           4 hour period
                                                       On 8 August 97           OEP broadened the
   The Disaster Relief Act of 97 Public Law          mission to include advance payments for
9 6 6 included project application provisions        applications over                   In Colonel
enabling local communities to contract flood         McElhenny s view the reason for the change
related repair work themselves and be reim           was clear : it took OEP two weeks to process
bursed by the federal government so long as the      payments through Washington and the Corps
expenditure was approved in advance by OEP           was doing • it much faster in Harrisburg It
Roadwork drainage facilities and debris re           didn t make much difference what the amount
moval were the major work categories for             was you still wrote the same check
which applications were made                            As SED prepared to close out its project
   When necessary to give local communities          application capability near the end of October
the financial capability to proceed OEP made         it recorded 9 advances on projects under
advance payments of 7 percent The re                           totaling              8 and 68 ad
mainder was presented after final inspection of      vances on projects over                totaling
the completed project and an audit The key to          8 467         District Engineer McElhenny felt
success in this OEP program was speed To             later on that the Corps role in project applica
achieve it OEP turned to the Army Corps of           tion advance payments was a high point of the
Engineers‚                                           Agnes mission In his words :
   The Corps was tasked to process advance and
 final payments and to perform interim and                 Getting money out to small com
 final inspections and audits Initially Corps              munities townships and boroughs
 involvement was limited to applications of                rapidly made them feel a lot more
            or less In Pennsylvania          Corps         confident and showed them the
 responsibility included applications for projects         government was trying to respond
 within the jurisdiction of the Pittsburgh Engi            promptly and effectively
 neer District In New York applications were
 channeled through the Elmira Area Office            To dramatize the concern of the federal govern
 before coming to the Susquehanna District           ment and at the instigation of Presidential
 office Elmira had its own project application       representative Carlucci      advance payment
 section                                             checks were sometimes publicly presented to
    Recognizing the potential magnitude of this      applicants by the district engineer and a repre
 mission SED established a project application       sentative of OEP
 section in the construction branch of the              Inspections and audits were another matter
 operations division All approved applications       Since there was no way applicants could com

    plete work on their projects within the antic                                    Some confusion developed when it was
    ipated lifespan of the Susquehanna District it                                discovered that a few project applications in
    was expected that inspections and audits would                                cluded reimbursement claims for work actually
    later need to be transferred to one of the                                    accomplished by the Corps The situation arose
    permanent districts Yet while SED existed                                     when Corps area offices took over a contract
    the inspection task alone was substantial Final                               already let by a local community When the job
    inspections were required for every damage                                    was done the community involved submitted a
    survey report     and there were ten on average                               project application asking reimbursement for its
       accompanying a project application In addi                                 part of the work but the percentage it had
    tion interim inspections were conducted on                                    actually accomplished was not always accu
    some projects as work proceeded Inspections                                   rately determined When OEP and the Engi
    were handled by the district office or the                                    neers realized what was happening the district
    appropriate area office a situation requiring                                 liaison officer became involved in recurring
    close district area office interaction and at                                 efforts to avoid this predicament through co
    times overburdening their staffs In accordance                                ordination with OEP and project applicants
    with a decision reached when SED was estab                                       In mid October selected Philadelphia District
    lished audit responsibilities were handled by                                 personnel began on the job training in project
    Philadelphia District Additional support in this                              application procedures prior to transfer of
    area came from the North Atlantic Division                                    SED s capability to their home district That
       As with other disaster programs there were                                 occurred on 9 October Management of
    problems encountered by the Corps in ad                                       project application responsibilities first taken
    ministering project applications In some cases                                on by the Susquehanna District was still being
    supplements were necessary if the contractors                                 handled by Philadelphia in 974 Division
    bids including the lowest exceeded previously                                 Engineer Groves assigned responsibility for
    approved funds ; in other cases approved                                      applications still pending in New York State to
    amounts later had to be reduced because of                                    the New York Engineer District as of
    unjustifiable labor rates excessively high unit                               October 97
    price costs or inclusion of ineligible work
                                                                PL 9    6 6 MISSION ESTIMATES

                                                                        Thousands of Dollars

                                             Area I        Area                Area 6             Area 8         Pennsylvania           Area 9      District
            Category of Work                Towanda     Wilkes Bane          Harrisburg          Reading           Subtotal             Elmira       Total

        I   Debris Removal                     79           9                          9                                  9 4           6 66          8

            Water Plants                                            7                                                         7                               7

            Sewage Plants                           4                                  9             8                    9 7                             9 7

       4     Roads and Bridges                  4                                  6                 67                   7                68             9

             Mobile Home Sites                  46              4                  9 6                                4 687                    7c     4 694

       6     Other Public Facilities                            9 8                        9                              9 7              9                  49

        7    Dikes and Levees                                                       6                                         8             8             64

        8    Miscellaneous                          6           47                                                        7 6              66             8

        9    Mini Repairs                                   8 9                        9                              9                   6 9             6 9

                Total                               6           778                                      9           7 8                9 86         8 4 9

        aData from situation report of 8 November                                  c lncludes design costs for a site not constructed
        blncludes expenditures of Areas 4 6 and 7

Chapter V Deactivation and Assessment

   When the Susquehanna District was set up          to that district Sunbury s Lock Haven Resident
Division Engineer Groves admonished SED              Office was abolished on            October The
leaders that their objective was to get in and get   Sunbury Area Office itself a consolidation of
out of the disaster area as fast as possible         offices got resident status under Harrisburg on
Such a goal required that phase down opera           the 9th and was abolished altogether on
tions be a concern from the beginning The            November Elmira Area Office responsibilities
Baltimore district engineer himself the head of      together with those of Towanda went to the
a permanent organization was impressed by the        Baltimore District on       October and Harris
fact that people in SED from the very top had        burg rejoined Baltimore on          November All
the primary drive to dissolve their organization     Wilkes Barre Area Office functions except mini
and they worked to get rid of their job              repair and contract finalization       tasks to be
   Detailed plans for consolidating existing area    completed by the st          were also transferred
offices were reviewed at an area engineers           to Baltimore on       November
meeting less than two weeks after the district s        Consolidation of the Susquehanna District s
establishment Consolidation was geared to            area offices involved the transfer of all active
respond to an anticipated decline in mission         contracts and some local hire personnel Con
activity in various parts of the district Accord     tracting effectiveness benefited noticeably as a
ingly on 6 August York Area Office became a          result Whether the move was within SED or to
resident office under Harrisburg as did the          another district the process occurred smoothly
Lewistown Area Office on            August That      Every effort to plan and coordinate these
same day the Lock Haven Area Office became a         changes was made by representatives of the
resident office under Sunbury Initially sched        Susquehanna Baltimore and Philadelphia Dis
uled to join Sunbury on             August the       tricts the North Atlantic Division the Chief s
Towanda Area Office was retained until               Office and OEP
October after receipt of an unexpected assign           Inactivation of Susquehanna District head
ment        the resurvey of stream clearance         quarters which paralleled developments within
damage reports Thus by the end of August             OEP s organization engaged the attention of
Susquehanna District s nine original area offices    Colonel McElhenny and his staff throughout
were already reduced to six                          much of November Contracts were finalized
   Another round of consolidation began in           plans were made for turning in district equip
October in the final weeks of SED s operations       ment and supplies a district after action report
On     October the Reading Area Office which         was prepared and files were screened for
lay within the normal civil works boundaries of      transfer to appropriate districts
the Philadelphia District was transferred back          Flag lowering ceremonies marking the dis

     solution of the Susquehanna District began at        were tangible ; people in desperate circum
     the Shiremanstown headquarters at           hours    stances were being helped Quite striking
     on      November 97        Snow and a chill wind     aspects of the role of the Corps of Engineers
     that day signalled the arrival of winter whose       and its Susquehanna District were the quickness
     effects the disaster mission had in great part       and efficiency of their response These qualities
     been trying to forestall The 76th Engineer           were in no small part due to the unique
     Battalion supplied the honor guard General           combination of military and civilian personnel
     Andrew P Rollins the deputy chief of engi            throughout the Corps and to an equally note
     neers General Groves and Colonel McElhenny           worthy decentralization of authority That
     spoke briefly A reception and luncheon in the        military officers were accountable to their
     U S Steel Building followed                          superiors for their performance provided a
        Susquehanna District paid tribute to those        measure of discipline lacking in many civilian
     individuals who had made outstanding con             controlled agencies Decentralization at all
     tributions to its mission To military officers       levels meant decisions could be made without
     went the Army Commendation Medal or a                seeking higher approval In particular the
     letter of recognition and to civilians a letter or   captains utilized by SED commented re
     certificate signed by the Chief of Engineers or      peatedly on the importance of having con
     special service awards in cash amounts up to         tracting officer and other decision; making
               Mary Wilson received the highest           authority Their having such authority indi
     civilian award from General Groves in Phila          cated the confidence placed in them by their
     delphia a few days after the flag lowering           superiors
     ceremonies                                              The district liaison officer was in one of the
        Corps of Engineers involvement in the Sus         best positions to notice how Corps methods
     quehanna River disaster area did not end with        compared with other agencies and he stated :
     the dissolution of the Susquehanna District :
     flood protection work under Public law 84 99               One thing I was proud of was our
     continued as did contract management and                   lines of command and respon
     project application support Long term studies              sibility have always been decen
     for future flood protection and flood plain                tralized down as low as we can get
     management were launched But the short                     them I never made a decision that
     existence of SED just over four months                     was not backed up by Colonel
     seems a remarkable instance of administrative              McElhenny and the people in the
     efficiency on the part of a branch of the federal          district So I sort of        assumed
                                                                that responsibility          Colonel
     government The speed with which contracts
                                                                McElhenny said         go do the job
     were awarded and payments made during the
                                                                and that was       the guidance so I
     summer and fall of 97 were key elements in
                                                                did it and it was backed up It s not
     the Susquehanna District s successful per
                                                                true in the other agencies Many
     formance Moreover as stressed above the
                                                                times a representative        if he is
     district was singularly oriented toward getting
                                                                not the senior official does not have
     its job done and toward disengagement Every
                                                                the authority to make a decision
     effort had been made to phase out district units
                                                                and he has to go back and run it all
      as soon as possible
                                                                through his people and that delays
         Susquehanna District was a truly cooperative
      effort by all parts of the Corps Personnel from
      districts and divisions were bound together in a       Following tradition the Corps made self
      common cause ; lasting friendships were made        evaluation a central part of the Susquehanna
      and a spirit was generated that infused the         District deactivation The process began as early
      whole organization Many Corps disaster per          as      August when NAD requested interim
      sonnel gained a sense of purpose and accom          after action reports from its districts Later
      plishment from the work they did The results        members of the Agnes recovery team at all

levels prepared after action reports detailing their   assign positions in advance How could you be
activities and making recommendations for              sure General Groves asked that your desig
future operations Most felt the disaster effort        nated people would be available when you
provided experience in the workings of the             needed them? 6
Corps that would likely never be duplicated and           Officers from the advanced course at Fort
that local communities had benefited from              Belvoir especially registered specific complaints
their efforts but nearly everyone had sugges           about insufficient guidance from OEP and
tions for improving upon the Agnes response            insufficient briefings by the Corps Inadequate
    Probably the most frequently cited problem         training in disaster recovery was another fre
was the turbulence resulting from the use of           quently cited problem In most cases these
temporary duty personnel on assignments that           were difficulties exacerbated by the extreme
rarely extended for the life of the district As        conditions surrounding Tropical Storm Agnes
noted earlier no agreement was reached on              Yet they were circumstances which the Corps
how best to cope with the problem Men who              and other federal agencies ought in great degree
had served in the field tended to favor longer         to be able to remedy North Atlantic Division
temporary assignments The district after action        has subsequently conducted its flood emer
report suggested that a cadre of individuals           gency exercises with the idea of applying some
constituting a redi district for such emer             of the lessons learned in Agnes to benefit both
gencies as Agnes was the best solution Under           Corps personnel and local communities The
such an arrangement personnel would generally          U S Congress passed a new disaster relief act in
be expected to remain with the temporary               May 974 after hearings on the effectiveness of
district for the entire period of its existence        the 97 act during which experiences fol
Another benefit would be rapid mobilization :          lowing Agnes were considered in depth
the individuals comprising the redi district              Forming a distinct administrative entity to
would be identified in advance                         deal with Agnes recovery under the Disaster
   While such solutions had merit many Corps           Relief Act of 97 was perhaps an extreme
officials remained unconvinced Division Engi           response on the part of the Corps but it seems
neer Groves did not feel that personnel tur            to have been entirely the right move in view of
bulence was really a significant problem in the        the situation following Agnes Clearly existing
Agnes operation Moreover he opposed the                districts could not have handled the challenge
idea of blanket requests for extended tem              as efficiently So many districts and divisions
porary duty assignments because it could result        had civil works authority in the region affected
in less qualified individuals Few districts or         by the storm that there could not have been
divisions would be inclined to send their best         effective coordination either internally or
for a lengthy commitment         I would rather        externally and the Baltimore District was
have a rapid turnover and have the right               simply overburdened       Because the federal
people    Groves concluded 4 Colonel Richard           government intended to rely so heavily on the
J Hesse of NAD further suggested that per              contracting capabilities of the Engineers an
sonnel turbulence was perceived differently            organization that could be fully effective was
from various vantage points in the Corps Of            essential
course personnel changes were upsetting to                Utilization of a special unit in the wake of
Susquehanna District leaders and to the area           Agnes however did not mean the Corps had
engineers in particular but the division engineer      found a mechanism suitable for all its future
and the Chief of Engineers viewed the problem          disaster missions Most Corps officials agreed
in terms of the overall requirements and needs         the establishment of SED was a wise even
of the Corps of Engineers                              brilliant move but no one suggested blanket
   As far as the North Atlantic Division was           use of the technique in the future General
concerned in future disaster recovery personnel        Groves did think a temporary district should be
would be drawn from a pool of experienced              used again in cases where the Corps had to get a
individuals but no effort would be made to             large number of contracts underway in a short

 period of time Colonel Hesse while thinking       to be some       generated frustration It was in
 that the creation of the Susquehanna District     this climate that the role of the Corps of
 was a good decision argued : I don t think for    Engineers      one of the most visible agencies
 a minute that it should necessarily set a         involved was sometimes misunderstood and
 precedent for doing this kind of thing again If   this misunderstanding was probably the single
 there is any way you can do it effectively in     most important cause of criticism leveled at the
 your existing structure that is more desir        Corps On the other hand unfavorable com
 able 8 Both Groves and Hesse reached these        ments on Corps damage estimates were quite
 conclusions on the basis of significant ex        valid Though guidance was unclear inex
 perience with other disasters as well as with     perience and excessive estimates on the part of
 Agnes                                             some Corps inspectors were crucial factors
   No federal state or local agency could have        What the Agnes experience demonstrated
expected to escape criticism in the climate        was that each disaster has a character all its
following Agnes Rushing to overcome suffering      own that no single response is possible and
and the change of seasons utilizing borrowed       that the federal agencies fighting the disaster
and often inexperienced personnel relying on       must have flexibility Otherwise the interests of
contractors from near and far coordinating with    the victims and the needs of state and local
a multitude of other organizations all providing   governments are not best served And meeting
assistance and continually dealing with individ    these needs is after all the goal of federal
uals stunned by what happened to them pre          disaster assistance Susquehanna District was a
sented tremendous challenges to all involved in    timely administrative experiment The re
the disaster relief Victims of the storm s         markable come back of Susquehanna River
devastation expected much from their govern        valley communities is in great part testimony to
ments and cared little how they got the help       the district s success
Any delay      there was too much but there had

Chapter I

    Information on rainfall and flooding has been compiled from Richard M DeAngelis and William T Hodge
Preliminary Climatic Data Report Hurricane Agnes June 4                 97    National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration Technical Memorandum Asheville           N C : U S Department of Commerce        97      ; Gannett
Fleming Corddry and Carpenter         Tropical Storm Agnes June 97        a draft report to U S Army Engineer
District Baltimore December 97 ; the Harrisburg Patriot ; and the Wilkes Barre Times Leader Evening News
   U S Congress Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Relief of the Committee on Public Works Hearings Ti
Investigate the Adequacy and Effectiveness if Federal Disaster Relief Legislation 9 rd Cong     st Sess     97 p
    See Congress and the Nation Washington : Congressional Quarterly Service 97 III pp 8 84 for a
discussion of federal disaster relief
    Senate Hearings p
    Interview with General Richard H Groves       7 July 974
    Wilkes Barre Times Leader Evening News July           97
    Interview with Colonel Louis W Prentiss 9 August 974
    Richard H Groves       The Agnes Disaster Military Engineer LXIV November December        97         86
   Scranton Times July        97 ; Lock Haven Express July       97
   Harrisburg Evening News July        97
    Harrisburg Patriot July 8   97   The bus service continued until 8 October
       Mary Ann Striffler   Legacy of Agnes : The Road Back   Water Spectrum IV                                      Winter       97     97


       Interview with General Richard H Groves                                                               7 July 974
        Prentis 9 Aug 74                Intervi w h Col ne L uis W
       Groves interview                                                          7 July 74
     4 Interview with Colonel Richard J Hesse                                                              6 July 974
       Morris to Groves                                                                July 97 North Atlantic Division Engineer s files
       Morris to Clarke                                                                July 97 NAD Division Engineer s files
       Morris to Groves                                                                 July 7
       Groves interview                                                          7 July 74
                         9OEP Press Release July 7 97 Box 7 Susquehanna District files
     € Prentiss interview 9 August 74
     Groves interview                                                            7 July 74
       Hesse interview                                                         6 July 74 Interview with Colonel John F McElhenny        9 July 974 U S Army Corps
 of Engineers Susquehanna District After Action Report : Tropical Storm Agnes Harrisburg : December 97

            Notes cont d
                                                                                                                                McElhen y interview 9 July 74
                  Interview with Mary Wilson                                                                                 7 August                           974
                                     4July97 EastburnJ                                                       InterviwhColnearsE
Ibid                                            8
                                                                           9McElhen y interview 9 July 74
                                         Questionnaire to Colonel Christ F Potamos September 974 These meetings not necessarily attended by
            the entire staff at all times were held twice daily in the beginning
                                         Wilson interview   7 August 74
                                                                        Memo Memo August 97 Box 7 SED files
                                         Interview with Major Robert Cook                                    9 August 974
               4 Groves int w 7 July 4
                                         Interview with Paul Baggett                       July 974
                                         McElhenny to Area Engineers                                      September 97    Box  7 SED files
                                       7 Interview with Thomas Muldowney                                      August 974 McElhenny interview   9 July 74
                           8 Captain William Malone After Action Report                                                November 97  Harrisburg Resident Office files
                                         Eastburn interview   4 July 74
                                         Muldowney interview      August 74

            Chapter III

                                                         Richard H Groves The Agnes Disaster Military Engineer LXV January February 97 9
                        Mary Ann Striffler  Legacy of Agnes : The Road Back            Water Spectrum IV Winter 97 97                                                                                                                  8
                                        Memo Potamos to McElhenny          August 97          Harrisburg Resident Office Files
                                                        4Memo for record Debris Pits in the Wilkes Barre Area William P Eng 6 September 97                                                                                             Harrisburg
                        Interview with General Richard H                                                                                Groves       7 July 974
                                                                                                                                     6Captain Michael R Arterburn After Action Reports       8 August and 4 October 97   Harrisburg files
            Supplement           Harrisburg : December                                                                             97                           p   66   A sample stream clearance contract is reproduced on pp
              6          68 of the supplement
                                                                                                                               8Wilkes Barre Times Leader Evening News Record September 7 97
                  Status of Stream Clearance Contracts Towanda Area Office Box                                                                                                         7 Susquehanna District files
                    U S Army Corps of Engineers Susquehanna District After Action Report : Tropical Storm Agnes
             Harrisburg : December                           97      p 4
                                                                   Memo for record Eligibility Requirements for Stream Debris Removal in Tioga County Charles E
            Eastburn            7 September 97                     Harrisburg files
                                                                                                                            Daily log Towanda Area Office September 97 Box             SED files
                                                                   Memo for record Charles E Eastburn 7 October 97 Harrisburg files Susquehanna Engineer District
            Daily Journal                 7 October 97
                                                                     Harisbugfle nd                                            4CaptinhrlesM AftcionRepr
                  Memo Horton to Eng September 97 Harrisburg files
                                                                                                                          6Ibid McElhenny to Division Engineer 8 October 97 Harrisburg files
                                                                                                                          7Telephone call memo Joseph D Bodman to John Witherspoon                  September 97 Harrisburg files
                9 McElhenny to Division Engineer                                                                                                         8 October 7
                                                                                                                           Joseph Charneski Lessons Learned in Natural Disaster Procedures n d Harrisburg files
                                                                                                                            Eugene R Eisman and W Roy Newsome Jr                        Pennsylvania Officials Review Lessons Learned From
            Emergency Housing Program Following Tropical Storm Agnes                                                                                                          Journal of Housing XXX January 97
                         SED Daily Journal                    8 August 7
                    4 Ibid
                                          Major Robert L Cook and Major Gerald A Vick After Action Report Operation NOAH II Wilkes Barre
             Area Office
                6 Wilkes Barre Times Leader Evening News November                                  97         Memo William Horton to O J Hewitt 6
             September 97    Harrisburg files
                                                     7Striffler Legacy of Agnes 9 quoting Major Harold L Matthais

Notes cont d
       SED Daily Journal 8 August 7
            9Ibid       September and October 7
       SED After Action Supplement pp                 6 Major James A Brueggeman After Action Report      October
 97 Harrisburg files
       SED Daily Journal         and    September 7
       Captain Thomas N Rumney After Action Report               October 97 Harrisburg files
          S    Congress Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Relief of the Committee on Public Works Hearings To
Investigate the Adequacy and Effectiveness of Federal Disaster Relief Legislation 9 rd Cong       st Sess   97 p
     4 Wilkes Barre Times Leader        Evening News January 8      97
              Cook and Vick Wilkes Barre After Action Report The average cost of a pad was       and of a trailer
   9        See Eisman and Newsome         Lessons Learned From Emergency Housing Program
     Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs Mobile Home Site Report No                9 September 4     97
     7 SED Daily Journal          August 7
      Ibid 8 August 7
       Ibid       and 6 September 7
   q Ibid 6 September 7
   € Interview with Colonel John F          McElhenny    9 July 974
       SED Daily Journal        8 and     September 7
       mid       9 September 7
   44lbid 4 October 7
   4 s Interview with Major Robert L         Cook   9 August 74
   46 Major Bennett s Daily Log        4 October 97     Box    4 SED files
   47 Cook and Vick        Wilkes Barre After Action Report Summary of Mini Repair Program           August 97
Harrisburg files Major Bennett s Daily Log           October 7
   48 Cook interview        9 August 74 Cook and Vick Wilkes Barre After Action Report
   4 9 Striffler      Legacy of Agnes     9 quoting Joe Jacobazzi
   s McElhenny interview           9 July 74 The value of these permanent repairs was deducted in cases where SBA
loans were subsequently made
        OEP Press Release Wilkes Barre November             97
    s Groves interview         7 July 74
      Captain George M Snow After Action Report n d Harrisburg files
        Cook interview       9 August 74

Chapter IV

     U S Army Corps of Engineers Susquehanna District After Action Report: Tropical Storm Agnes
Supplement Harrisburg : December       97   p        OEP Request No      6 to the Corps assigned the mission of
performing minimum work for temporary crossings at two sites in Dauphin County at a cost not to exceed
 79 99
     Potamos to Eastburn    October 97    Harrisburg Resident Office files
     Susquehanna Engineer District Daily Journal     7 August 97
    Frederick P Howland Jr       to Potamos   8 September 97    Harrisburg files
     Memo for record Eastburn       August 97    Harrisburg files
   6 SED Daily Journal   8 August 7
     Joint memorandum Bailey Bridge Costs      September 97     Harrisburg files
    Interview with Paul Baggett       July 974 SED After Action Supplement p
     Interview with Colonel John F McElhenny      9 July 974
       € Ibid
    Memo Winkle to OEP MIC Coordinators        8 September 97 ; and Memo Eastburn to McElhenny
October 7  Harrisburg files
     Memo for record Data on Project Applications Eastburn       July 97 Harrisburg files Conference
Notes Meeting with OEP      October 7 Box    Susquehanna District files

Chapter V

       Interview with Colonel John F   McElhenny   9 July   974

Notes cont d

    Interview with Colonel Louis W Prentiss 9 August 974
    Interview with Colonel Charles E Eastburn 4 July 974
  4 Interview with General Richard H Groves 7 July 974
    Interview with Colonel Richard J Hesse 6 July 974
    Groves interview 7 July 74
  7 lbiad
    Hesse interview 6 July 74

   Unpublished documents in the Susquehanna          The following published works were con
District files presently housed in the Phila      sulted :
delphia District Records Branch and files at
Baltimore District s Harrisburg Resident Office   Barrett    Lucile T     and Edward Sanchez
New Cumberland Pa         were major sources of       Camille and the Engineers Military En
information for this study The records include      gineer LXI November December          969
correspondence disposition forms memos               4 7 4 9
reports logs and contract data Files in the       Congress and the Nation Volume III Washing
Emergency Operations Branch Directorate of           ton : Congressional Quarterly Service 97
Civil Works Office of the Chief of Engineers      DeAngelis Richard M and William T Hodge
and in the offices of the emergency operations      Preliminary Climatic Data Report Hurricane
planners of North Atlantic Division and Phila       Agnes June 4           97 National Oceanic
delphia and Baltimore Districts were also con        and Atmospheric Administration Technical
sulted                                               Memorandum Asheville N C : U S Depart
   A great source of information and insight         ment of Commerce 97
were interviews and correspondence with the       Eisman Eugene R and W Roy Newsome Jr
following : Paul Baggett John Barr Carolyn            Pennsylvania Officials Review Lessons
Brennenian Norm Brodoski Major Robert L              Learned From Emergency Housing Program
Cook Leo Corbett Frank Doyle Lt Colonel              Following Tropical Storm Agnes      Journal
Charles E Eastburn Charles Flachbarth                of Housing XXX January 97
Bernard Gallagher Maj General Richard H           Groves Richard H        The Agnes Disaster
Groves     Colonel Richard J Hesse Captain          Military Engineer         LXIV    November
Milton Hunter Anthony Kaminiski Colonel             December 97          8 87 and LXV Jan
John F McElhenny Thomas Muldowney Lt                uary February 97        6
Colonel Christ F Potamos John Rogalla             Lewis James L         Federal Emergency Re
Nicholas Souchik Major Gerald A Vick and            sponse Military Engineer LXVI March
Mary Wilson                                         April 974
   In addition many participants provided         Milton Larry L Disaster at Rapid City
useful materials from their personal files that     Military Engineer LXV May June 97
were not found in other sources                       89 9
   Newspaper accounts were found in the files     Striffler Mary Ann      Legacy of Agnes : The
of the Baltimore District Public Affairs Office      Road Back      Water Spectrum IV Winter
and in the Daily Clips of the Office of the           97 97        4
Chief of Engineers                                U S Army Corps of Engineers Susquehanna
  District    North Atlantic Division After         spect : Corps Tells What Happened What
  Action Report: Tropical Storm Agnes               Didn t Commanders Digest XII November
   Harrisburg : December    97                          97    6
       After Action Report: Tropical Storm                Corps of Engineers Leads Cleanup
  Agnes Supplement Harrisburg : December            Commanders Digest       XII    November
    97                                               97    I S
U S Army Corps of Engineers North Atlantic        U S Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Relief of
  Division     The Great Flood of 97                the Committee on Public Works Hearings
U S Army Corps of Engineers Office of the           To Investigate the Adequacy and Effective
  Chief of Engineers     Agnes                      ness of Federal Disaster Relief Legislation
U S Department of Defense       Agnes in Retro      9 rd Cong     st Sess   97

   The author is deeply grateful to all those     enthusiastically and generously of their time
individuals associated with the Susquehanna       Their keen insights and reflections significantly
Philadelphia and Baltimore Districts of the U S   enhanced the narrative
Army Corps of Engineers and the Office of the        General Richard H Groves deserves special
Chief of Engineers whose assistance made the      mention for his encouragement and suggestions
research and writing of this book both pleasant   Others who read the manuscript were : Colonel
and fruitful Special thanks are owing to Robert   William D Horton Colonel John F McEI
J Blake Carolyn Brenneman Frank Doyle             henny General Louis W Prentiss and Mary
Henry G Dunn Dorothe M Grand Michael J            Wilson Their comments were most helpful
Lawrence Gary A Loew Elizabeth H Phipps              As always my wife Billie gave invaluable
Agnes M Riedel Jesse A Remington and Rose         support
Wells                                               For the material presented and the conclu
   Individuals interviewed by the author gave     sions reached the author alone is responsible

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