Corps of Engineers working to help flood victims - - Jackson, MS

Corps of Engineers working to help flood victims

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As the mighty Mississippi River continues to rise, Army Corps of Engineers is measuring the rising water levels from a mobile command unit on 61 North in Vicksburg.

"We go into an area and we can be self-sufficient, we go into that area and we have an onboard generator, we set the unit up, we provide phone service, fax and email," said Dustin Brandon, an Army Corps of Engineers employee.

The mobile command unit has been in Vicksburg for 3 days and is now headed to Arkansas.

Whenever disaster strikes, the unit can be used to keep district officials who may have lost power in working order.

"We have a fifty foot mast on the back of the unit that can deploy and issue handheld radios to police and the fire department if their radio equipment is damaged," Brandon said.

"We can do our work and do our reports and get the word out and keep in communication with our higher command on decisions and trouble areas and if we need any additional support out here we've got that communication," said Lamar Jenkins, Assistant Area Engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Army Corps of Engineers has 18 mobile command centers across the U.S. and 5 of them including the one in Vicksburg Wednesday are stationed in the southeastern United States, but they can travel all across the country.

While plenty of Army Corps of Engineers is currently helping to monitor and protect levees in Mississippi, working floods is not the Corps only job.

"The federal emergency management agency relies on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist with disasters," said Army Corps of Engineers' Public Information Officer Kavanaugh Breazeale. "For example, we have now just been tasked with the clean-up efforts in Monroe County and Smithville, Mississippi."

Army Corps of Engineers is completing the process of applying a protective shield over the Yazoo Backwater levee Wednesday.

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