Louisville District’s Tracey Keel deployed in support of Hurricane Matthew cleanup operations after the storm swept across the Atlantic Ocean in fall 2016 and made landfall in the U.S. leaving behind massive damage. At the request of Region IV Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Keel deployed to the Joint Field Office in Raleigh, N.C., October 13, as the debris subject matter expert on site.
The hurricane dumped more than a foot of rain 100 miles inland, swelling streams and rivers to levels above what Hurricane Floyd produced in 1999. About 1 million homes were without power, some for days. Hundreds of roads were closed, including major interstates, and thousands of people were forced to leave their homes.
During his 16 days, Keel provided debris support with aerial surveys, debris strategies and initial estimates to the FEMA team.
"My mission was to work with the state agencies to give them guidance in debris removal and disposal and to ensure they conducted their operation such that FEMA would reimburse them their full cost share," Keel said.
Gerald Thornberry was also tasked to support the mission, here in Louisville District’s emergency operations center, by providing Geographic Information System support.