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U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Says It Didn’t Just Fix Mapp’s Generator @ Coakley Bay Condominiums … Ahead of You

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CHRISTIANSTED — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 249th Engineer Battalion and the Corps’ Tulsa District power team are working together to provide U.S. Virgin Island facility generator owners with assessments to guide and assist them with the future maintenance generators.

“This is going to help the people here by giving them a guide regarding how to provide power or fix their existing generators in the event there is a catastrophic failure,” said Army Chief Warrant Officer Derek Ganley, the 249th Engineer Battalion power systems technician.

The combined team plans to complete more than 25 generator assessments for private facility generators, including for Boy Scouts of America facilities, a community health center, the University of the Virgin Islands and a hospital.

The assessments provide the facility generator owners with a preemptive analysis for generator maintenance requirements and capabilities in the event that the owner does not have a contractor available to perform maintenance on their equipment.

“We were called upon to do assessments of generators due to our vast expertise of operating and maintaining generators,” Ganley said.

The Corps is helping U.S. Virgin Islanders by ensuring these private generators for public facilities will remain serviced and operational until permanent power can be restored throughout the islands.

Ready to Respond

The 249th Engineer Battalion is a versatile power-generation battalion assigned to the Corps that provides commercial-level power to military units and federal relief organizations during full-spectrum operations.

During emergency events, the 249th and one of the Corps’ seven established power teams serve as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s power engineers. Soldiers and power team personnel deploy to fill the power gap between the end of a storm event and the arrival of power and utility contractors, who install temporary FEMA generators to predetermined critical facilities.

When the 249th first deployed to the Virgin Islands with the Corps’ Memphis District power team after Hurricane Irma hit the islands in late September, they immediately got to work providing temporary power to critical facilities utilizing FEMA generators.

“The prime power team was here to assess the power requirements of critical facilities in the Virgin Islands in order to provide them with proper generators to fulfill their power needs for life, health and safety in the territories,” Ganley said.

These Corps personnel are subject matter experts in temporary power and can provide training requirements as necessary, as well as provide information needed for tools or equipment, making these teams an excellent resource for states or territories with little resources or expertise post-storm events.

“It’s truly been an honor for us to come to the Virgin Islands and be afforded the opportunity to help the people within this beautiful territory,” Ganley said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was called to Coakley Bay Condominiums, to fix the generator at the building Mapp lives in after Hurricane Maria’s passing. He got priority treatment.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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