Louisville District Emergency Management conducts flood fight training

USACE - Louisville District
Published July 5, 2022
Updated: July 5, 2022

Residents who reside along the 981 miles of the Ohio River and its tributaries are no strangers to severe weather. The risk for flood in these areas increase when a location experiences heavy rain, the area has poor drainage or the soil composition is dense.

Flood fight training is one way the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville district prepares for these severe weather events.

“Louisville District has many technical experts who volunteer for flood fighting. Annual training offered by the district’s emergency operations center provides the opportunity for employees to understand the capabilities of USACE so they can assist a community responding to a flood and supplement their efforts,” said Bob Burick, Louisville District emergency manager.

During the training held June 30, 2022, Burick provided an overview of the USACE disaster response authority and reviewed the sequence of events during a disaster. The group also discussed the Louisville District flood fight capabilities and support options.

“The training provides our responders with flood fight techniques we have learned from past events to be better prepared,” said Jeff Brooks, Louisville District emergency management planner. “No response is identical but sharing the knowledge from these other events helps the teams adapt accordingly to the conditions they are observing in the field.”

During the hands-on portion of the training, eight flood fight team members participated in sandbag filling, placement and correct use of barriers. After participants filled sandbags using the manual and automated methods, they practiced sandbag carrying techniques, creating a ring around a boil and forming a levee using the pyramid placement method.

“I have been assigned to flood fighting missions in the past and am aware of how stressful emergency situations can be; it is important to make good, informed decisions, quickly,” said Kate Brandner, dam safety section chief. “The training will help those in the field make informed decisions to set flood fighters on the best path forward in emergency situations.”

Louisville District flood fight teams responded to two major flood events in 2019 using more than 104,000 sandbags to assist with disaster response.