I have been in command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for over four years.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is undertaking a massive effort to help convert empty buildings into “ICU-like” medical facilities as states across the country continue to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, a top Army leader said.
Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, commander of the Corps, said the Army is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and states to turn empty existing buildings—such as hotels, college dormitories and other facilities—into makeshift medical facilities. FEMA has provided $1 million for this task, he said.
More than a million homes and businesses in Puerto Rico have had their power restored, but over 450,000 remain without power more than four months after Hurricane Maria destroyed the U.S. territory’s power grid.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Task Force Power Restoration, in a joint effort with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and industry partners, is managing the efforts of some 4,000 personnel on the island to restore power to the remaining customers, according to an Army news release.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineer and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are warning Puerto Ricans it will be months before power is fully restored to the island. Electrical generation efforts are moving more quickly than restoration of the power distribution system.