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Vicksburg District engages emergency operations in preparation for Hurricane Laura

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District is providing material and technical assistance to communities across the Southeast in preparation for Hurricane Laura by mobilizing its Emergency Operations Center as well as the Mapping, Modeling and Consequences Center.

In a release, the District said it’s Emergency Operations Center has activated its emergency watch for hurricane response operations.

“The center is collaborating with local, state and federal officials in Mississippi and Louisiana to monitor conditions across the region and prepare support teams to deploy if necessary,” The District said in its release. “The center deployed its sandbag machine to south Mississippi communities last weekend. The machine, which filled approximately 5,000 sandbags during its deployment, returned to Vicksburg Wednesday.”

The USACE Mapping, Modeling and Consequences Center is helping to develop products for areas across Louisiana and Texas, including mapping for the Neches, Trinity and Sabine rivers and modeling for downstream of the Addick and Barker reservoirs. The data from these maps and models, which are coordinated with the National Hurricane Center and the USACE New Orleans and Galveston districts, help local and state emergency management officials to determine evacuation routes and staging areas.

Additionally, the District’s Water Management Section ran models for the Red and Ouachita rivers and produced inundation mapping for the Pearl River to allow senior leadership to make informed decisions regarding the monitoring and operation of structures in the area.

“Hurricane Laura poses an extreme threat to regions across the Southeast, particularly in light of the ongoing pandemic,”  Vicksburg District Commander Col. Robert Hilliard said. “The Vicksburg District is committed to supporting our local, state and federal partners and the communities we serve through this unprecedented challenge.”

Hurricane Laura is expected to make landfall early Thursday and as of Wednesday afternoon was a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 145 mph.