The commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has signed a key report that allows Congress to consider a key flood risk management project in Puerto Rico for potential authorization.
Lt. Gen. Scott A. Spellmon, USACE Commanding General and the 55th Chief of Engineers signed “chief’s report” for the Rio Grande de Manati flood risk reduction project. It is the culmination of a two-year planning effort led by USACE’s Pittsburgh District.
“Effective communication was critical to identifying a plan to mitigate flood risk in Ciales,” said Col. Andrew Short commander of Pittsburgh District. “Teamwork and partnership between local representatives, the community and the Jacksonville District helped our Pittsburgh team identify the flooding problems residents face, most recently during Hurricane Maria. We are anxious to see a successful implementation of this study’s recommendations as a means to significantly mitigate future flood risk.”
Rio Grande de Manati has reached flood stage more than 30 times over the past 50 years, resulting in a wide array of impacts for property owners in the Municipality of Ciales. The plan recommends acquisition and demolition of 59 structures in the floodplain to mitigate against future flood events.
“We greatly appreciate the work our co-workers in Pittsburgh have done in moving this project forward over the past two years,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, commander of USACE’s Jacksonville District. “Ever since Irma and Maria struck in 2017, USACE has used the talents of our engineers and planners across the nation to address the high volume of work that is taking place within Puerto Rico, Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to address the highest priorities to build resiliency from future storms.”
The Rio Grande de Manati report will undergo additional review by the Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and the Office of Management and Budget. It will be formally transmitted to Congress upon completion of those reviews.
For more information on USACE work in Puerto Rico, visit the Jacksonville District website at https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/About/Divisions-Offices/Antilles-Office/.
Release no. 20-198