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RiverWatch DIGEST October 19, 2016

RiverWatch DIGEST is a collection of stories, news, and information published by the Memphis District Public Affairs Office on various platforms.

Supporting FEMA flood recovery mission in Southern La. Quality Assurance Representatives (QAR) Cecily Wiseman (L), Memphis District and Mike Maynard (R), rehired annuitant, notify a resident that her fence must be removed before a Manufactured Housing Unit (MHU) can be placed on her property. QARs have deployed from across the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of the Baton Rouge severe storms and flooding that occurred in August. The QARs are responsible for MHU site inspection reports and inspecting the MHUs before they are occupied.

Jim Rose, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rehired Annuitant, working as a Quality Assurance Representative (QAR), conducts a Ready for Occupancy (RFO) inspection on a recently installed Manufactured Housing Unit (MHU). Once the QAR completes the RFO inspection, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducts their own inspection. If everything is fine with the installation, FEMA licenses the MHU to the local resident.

Jack Wilkerson (L) and Brian Libby (R-standing), quality assurance representatives (QAR) from the Memphis District look on as contractors turn off the main water supply to a Manufactured Housing Unit (MHU). The QARs inspect the contractor's work before FEMA turns over the MHU to the occupants. QARs have deployed from across the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of the Baton Rouge severe storms and flooding that occurred in August. The QARs are responsible for MHU site inspection reports and inspecting the MHUs before they are occupied.

Memphis District survey team consisting of Holt Grayson, Bobby Carlyle, and Jack Ratliff are supporting the housing mission being executed by USACE and FEMA in response to the 2016 severe storm and flooding event in Baton Rouge, La. The survey team's services are assisting with the leasing of property to design and build temporary group housing facilities for manufactured housing units. The group housing sites are temporary in nature and are only occupied for a period of 18 months.

Pictured is a panorama of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Joint Field Office (JFO) in Baton Rouge, La. on Oct. 9. FEMA is providing assistance to Southern Louisiana. residents affected by the August severe storm and flooding event. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Emergency Support Function #3 is part of the JFO, supporting FEMA with its flood recovery mission.


Stone replacement project underway On Oct. 7, Memphis District commander, Col. Michael Ellicott visited the site of on-going stone placement operations along the Mississippi River at Hopefield, Ark., located at river mile 735 immediately upstream of the Interstate 55 bridge. This work is part of the Mississippi River Channel Improvement Project which is responsible for maintaining a safe and dependable navigation channel as authorized by Congress in the Flood Control Act of 1928. The work consists of placing riprap to stabilize the riverbank and helps maintain a proper channel alignment for navigation purposes. See more at:

Nash Levee slide repair underway near Scott City, Mo. A Memphis District hired labor crew has begun work to repair a slide on the Nash Levee that occurred as a result of the Dec. 2015 - Jan. 2016 flooding near Scott City, Mo. Crews removed filter cloth and sandbags from the levee section. The filter cloth and sandbags were placed over the levee slide to prevent further damage to the levee embankment until permanent repairs could be made. The photo shows crews working to repair the levee. See more photos: posts/1249651098434032

Pease Greeters welcome Thomas during layover Memphis District's Lawrence Thomas (center) is given a warm welcome by two World War II Veterans who are members of the Pease Greeters during a layover in Ft. Smith, N.H. Thomas is an engineer in route to his U.S. Army Corps of Engineers overseas deployment assignment. The Pease Greeters are a group of volunteers who greet military and civilian deployers during their flight layover. The group is named Pease Greeters because the airport was once Pease Air Force Base. They have been greeting deployers since May 2005.

Allen, Evans represent USACE at career fair Jacob Allen (l) and Jamie Evans (c) represented the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at the University of Memphis Career Fair on Sept. 28. The two provided students with information about USACE and Memphis District missions. Those interested in a career with USACE were encouraged to visit, establish an account and set it to begin performing daily or weekly job searches for the jobs they want. Read more: posts/1237532059645936:0

Structural Engineering hosts design software course Sept. 26 - 30, Memphis District's Structural Engineering Section hosted engineers from three divisions and five different districts for a structural engineering analysis and design software course called, "STAAD Fundamentals and Advanced Topics." STAAD design software is widely used throughout the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Training is being presented by Bentley, the software company that produces STAAD.


Aboard the Hurley with Richard Miller The Motor Vessel Ward, piloted by Bobby Morton, assists the deckhands in turning the pipeline pontoons in preparation to disconnect Dredge Hurley's pipeline after completion of dredging operations at RedEye Crossing, Baton Rouge, La. on the morning of Sept. 30. --Richard Miller

Dredge Hurley's pipeline is 1,200 feet long and as a result, must be partially disassembled for towing. Pictured from left to right: Deck Leaderman Roger "Grip" Griffin, Travis Clark, Victor Henderson, and Marcus Grant. Grip is the only employee in this picture actually assigned to the Hurley. Travis is on loan from Navigation Section, Victor is on loan from the Loading Unit, and Marcus is on loan from Clearing & Snagging Unit. Thirty minutes after this picture was taken, Victor and Marcus left the Hurley to rejoin their units. Dredge Hurley very much appreciates the help provided by other Memphis District units to make the dredging season SAFE and successful. --Richard Miller

The Dredge Hurley approaches the Dredge Hurley's fleet to make up tow. This maneuver requires a lot of skill on the part of the pilot to land juuuussst right without banging or damaging the fuel barge. --Richard Miller

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. If you are a woman age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them. If you are a woman age 50 to 74, be sure to get a mammogram every 2 years. You may also choose to get them more often. Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms. --U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

National Disability Employment Awareness Month National Disability Employment Awareness Month wass established by Public Law and Presidential Proclamation. It is observed from October 1 - 31 of each year. The awareness event is observed so that Americans may reaffirm commitment to ensuring equal opportunity for all citizens and so that they may pay tribute to the accomplishments of men and women with disabilities who contributed, continue to contribute, and wish to contribute to making the nation's economy strong.


Commander visits culvert replacement project Acting area engineer Steve Shankle, Memphis District Caruthersville Area Office, provides Col. Michael Ellicott, Memphis District commander, an overview of the Dyer County Little Levee Culvert Replacement project. The location of the culvert replacement is within Dyer County Little Levee approximately 300 feet west of Tennessee Highway 181 where the highway crosses the Obion River in Dyer County, Tenn. The culverts were damaged beyond repair during the 2011 flood and were replaced by a single 140-foot long, 8-foot high, 8-foot wide precast concrete box culvert. See more: posts/1243392915726517

Getting kids interested in engineering On Oct. 6, Area Engineer Loy Hamilton for the Memphis District's Wynne Area Office, visited Wynne Elementary School's Gifted and Talented class taught by Holly Milton. Hamilton spoke to the students about basic highway bridge construction and design. He explained why bridges are shaped the way they are and the various materials used to construct bridges. He also discussed with the students why Newton's laws of physics are important in bridge design. Hamilton left the class with an assignment: students were given balsa wood and asked to construct a basic Truss design bridge, using information Hamilton provided. Hamilton will return to test to failure each bridge and determine an overall winner based on the bridge that holds up to the most weight. The class asked Hamilton what was the most interesting bridge construction he had ever been involved with. He told them it was the construction of a bridge across the Panj River, between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, in 2006 (see accompanying photo).

Commander visits Ensley relief well project site On Oct. 5, Jamie Evans (second from left), Geotechnical Branch, briefed Memphis District commander, Col. Michael Ellicott (left) on the Ensley Relief Well Project. Evans gave a project overview, explained how Mississippi River flood stages affect the levee, how relief wells are designed, and how they protect the levee (a partially constructed well can be seen on the ground at the groups feet). Andrew Smothers (far right) explained why relief wells are sometimes chosen over other control alternatives. Pressure relief wells may be installed along the landside toe of levees to reduce uplift pressure which may otherwise cause sand boils and piping of foundation materials. Wells accomplish this by intercepting and providing controlled outlets for seepage that would otherwise emerge uncontrolled landward of the levee.

Groundwater Security Resident Office opening A group of about 25 stakeholders, sponsors and USACE employees were present on Oct. 18 for the official opening of the Memphis District's Groundwater Security Resident Office (GSRO) in Carlisle, Ark. The office will provide supervision, administration, and inspection of construction, relocation, and hired labor contracts for the Bayou Meto Basin and Grand Prairie Area Demonstration projects in eastern Arkansas. Both projects provide comprehensive water management plans designed to reduce groundwater depletion aimed at protecting and preserving the vital Alluvial and Sparta Aquifers. Additionally, the Bayou Meto Basin Project includes flood damage reduction measures on the southern end of the basin as well as a comprehensive waterfowl management plan. Among those attending were Memphis District commander Col. Michael Ellicott, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission Executive Director Bruce Holland, senior leaders from both the Bayou Meto Basin and Grand Prairie Area Demonstration projects, local farmers and other interested citizens. 4

The Grand Prairie Irrigation Project The Grand Prairie Irrigation Project is a comprehensive water management plan designed to protect and preserve the Alluvial and Sparta Aquifers. This project also allows the continued irrigation of current agricultural crops and reduces further depletion of groundwater aquifers, while continuing to provide critical benefits for the millions of waterfowl, which annually migrate through the region. The project utilizes excess surface water and water from the White River to supplement a network of on-farm tailwater recovery systems. This supplemental system will be used to fill on-farm reservoirs that store the water, which supplies at least a portion of each farmers' irrigation needs. The project is located in Arkansas' Grand Prairie. Grand Prairie is an area in the east-central portion of the state situated between the White and Arkansas Rivers. Existing with relatively flat topography and topsoil underpinned with alluvial clay, this former grassland prairie along with its hardwood bottomlands, were transformed during the past century into the state's most productive agricultural region. To see more images: set=a.1236695753062900.1073741882.152024974863322&type=3 Learn more about the project here: Missions/Projects/Grand-Prairie-Area-Demonstration-Project/

USACE represented at university career fair Memphis District team member, Jacob Allen, represented U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at the University of Tennessee Career Fair held in Martin, Tenn., on Sept 22. Allen provided students with information about USACE, Memphis District, and the district's construction offices. Allen answered questions about career opportunities with USACE and encouraged students to visit the website to search for available opportunities.

Home school students learn about the river Local home school instructor Charlotte Milton and her students, who are studying limnology (the study of the biological, chemical, and physical features of lakes and other bodies of fresh water) and fresh water ecology, visited the Memphis District to learn more about the district's Mississippi River navigation and flood risk reduction responsibilities. The group was briefed on the Mississippi River Channel Improvement Project by Project Manager Zach Cook (rear). Cook answered follow-up questions about the river, the District, and how science factors into the work the District performs.

Memphis District Reunion Former Memphis District Commander, Col. Jeffery Anderson and Russ Davis, former Memphis District Operations Chief, enjoyed a reunion Oct. 4 at U.S.Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, Washington, D.C.


Kent completes career after 47 years of dredging "Jimmy Kent first hired on with the Army Corps of Engineers in June of 1970 as a deckhand aboard the steam powered Dredge Burgess. Jimmy worked as a seasonal deckhand aboard the Burgess for several years until he was selected as a Deck Equipment Operator. "As a Deck Equipment Operator, he learned how to run the dredge, which was a challenge in those days using steam powered winches and no bow thrusters to assist with keeping the dredge on range--Old School Dredging. "Jimmy advanced to Dredge Runner and after the Burgess was taken out of service, he ushered in a new era of dredging technology as a Dredge Runner aboard Dredge Hurley when it began it's service as the largest dustpan dredge in the world in 1990. "This is Jimmy's last season with the Corps. 47 years after hiring on as a deckhand Jimmy is hanging it up. Dredge Hurley completed the dredging season at the end of September. So this picture, taken late in the afternoon as the sun sets on September 13th aboard the Hurley, dredging at Granada Crossing in Baton Rouge, marks the end of an era." -- Richard Miller

August 2016 Louisiana Severe Weather Event Recovery Tony Hill, Emergency Support Function (ESF) #3 Team Leader, talks about U.S. Army Corps of Engineers support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the Southern Louisiana severe storm and flood recovery mission. See video: videos/1237380279661114/

USACE supporting FEMA Haul and Install mission Huntington District's Wyatt Kmen, Temporary Housing Subject Matter Expert, explains how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Temporary Housing mission during the current Southern Louisiana severe storm and flood recovery efforts. See video: videos/1238477249551417/

Part 2, USACE supporting FEMA Haul and Install mission Huntington District's Wyatt Kmen, Temporary Housing Subject Matter Expert, continues with a discussion on how USACE is supporting FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency's Group Site mission during the Southern Louisiana severe storm and flood recovery efforts. See video: videos/1238637302868745/

USACE debris removal mission U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District ‘s Eddie LeBlanc, a debris subject matter expert, explains how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is supporting the debris removal process in the flood affected areas of Southern Louisiana. See video:

Helping FEMA provide assistance to affected residents This video was shot on Oct. 6, 2016, by a USACE employee who is assisting with the FEMA housing mission in East Baton Rouge, La. It shows piles and piles of what were once the residents' belongings that now sit on the roadside for debris removal teams to pick up. Working with FEMA, USACE is striving to bring affected residents temporary living quarters until they can get back on their feet again. See video: videos/1244178878981254/ 6

2016 RiverWatchers Photo Album We asked our Facebook friends to help us celebrate the beauty of our waterways by taking and submitting pictures that show the splendor, excitement and serenity of our Mississippi River and its tributaries. The response was outstanding! Eighty-two awesome pictures were submitted from as far north as New Madrid, Mo., and Head of Passes, La. to the south. We thank all who captured and submitted their wonderful images for us all to enjoy. You can see the entire album here: set=a.1250484641684011.1073741883.152024974863322&type=1&l=9619736081


RiverWatch Digest, Oct. 19, 2016