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Homeland Security

NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Assists with Hurricane Irene Recovery

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110902-07

By Annalisa Cachin, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Mid-Atlantic and Public Works Department (PWD) Norfolk engaged in a team effort that began Aug. 28 to clear the waterfront at Naval Station Norfolk for the return of the fleet after Hurricane Irene hit the Hampton Roads area.

The initial response included the NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Hydrographic Survey Team conducting hydrographic and topside surveys to identify water hazards, and an in-house wharf builder and two contract floating crane rigs removing broken piles and debris from the water.

"Some critical personnel stayed on the installation Saturday night to ride out the storm, and they began responding as soon as it was safe to go out," said Cmdr. Dean Vanderley, PWD Norfolk public works officer. "By 0800 Sunday, we already had more than 30 engineers responding and conducting damage assessments."

The response encompassed the entire NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic team. In addition to the efforts of the Hydrographic Survey Team, the Hampton Roads Integrated Products Team (IPT) provided crane operators and engineering technicians, and their crane riggers also helped with ship to shore utilities. Environmental oil recovery boats and operators assisted Naval Station Norfolk Port Operations with ship barrier repairs, aided the utilities team with under-pier inspections, and assisted the wharf builders with tying back loose pilings.

Apart from their efforts on the waterfront, the team also worked on clearing debris, restoring electrical power, and assessing damaged facilities around the installation.

"PWD Norfolk worked hand-in-hand with the installation commanding officer and port operations on prioritizing repair efforts to align with fleet plans," said Vanderley. "I can't overemphasize how important it was for all of us to work seamlessly."

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