Army engineers prepare for hurricane season, expect up to eight storms

USACE, Savannah District
Published April 26, 2022
The South Atlantic Division performs a tabletop exercise in preparation of the 2022 hurricane season.

The South Atlantic Division performs a tabletop exercise in preparation of the 2022 hurricane season.

SAVANNAH, Ga. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, has begun preparing for the hurricane season in the Southeast with an extensive schedule of training and safety exercises throughout Georgia.

The official Atlantic Ocean hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 with the peak threat period occurring between mid-August and October. Colorado State University released a study in December 2021 that predicted 13 to 16 named storms, six to eight hurricanes, and two to three major hurricanes to occur this year.

The Corps is part of the federal government's unified national response to disasters and emergencies and assists the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency as the primary agency for public works and engineering-related emergency support. The Corps also repairs federally authorized flood control, flood fighting, and hurricane protection projects.

“In the Emergency Management Branch, we are committed to helping ensure the Savannah District has a safe 2022 hurricane season,” said Matthew Collins, an emergency management specialist at the Savannah District.

Among the planned hurricane preparedness events occurring in the Savannah District are safety tabletop exercises at J. Strom Thurmond Dam Project May 5, Clemson University July 27, and Hartwell Dam July 28.

Some of the missions that could be assigned to the Corps by FEMA include debris management, temporary housing, temporary roofing, emergency power, infrastructure assessment, and support to urban search and rescue.

Although Savannah doesn’t historically experience direct impacts, tropical storm conditions can be felt in the metro area. Tornadoes that spin off from the hurricanes can be common even miles from a storm’s landfall. Travel plans are frequently impacted during these events due to evacuees from other states. Therefore, whether traveling or staying at home, it is recommended to always have a severe weather plan and kit that includes water, food, flashlights, radio, and an evacuation route if needed or ordered to leave.