Hurricane Isaac Debris Monitoring
Hurricane Isaac was a deadly and destructive tropical cyclone that caused extensive damage to South Louisiana and East Baton Rouge Parish. Tropical storm-force sustained winds, with gusts well over hurricane strength, downed trees and lines knocked out power to hundreds of thousands, while heavy rainfall led to flooding. Overall, Isaac caused $2.39+ Billion in damage.
In anticipation of landfall, the City of Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, and APTIM, as well as other debris removal contractors, mobilized assets and began preparations for work immediately following the storm's passing. The city/parish wanted to make as many preparations in advance as possible, which included measuring and certifying city/parish trucks, conducting advance coordination meetings with contractors and agencies involved in debris removal, and coordinating with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and the city/parish's Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
We provided debris management services, including monitoring, eligibility review, operations oversight, reporting invoice review, and records management. We responded quickly with local staff who have extensive experience and understanding of debris management and monitoring operations, even though staffing is typically a challenge with emergency debris removal operations. Other responsibilities included regular status updates and meetings with the city/parish, GOSHEP, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for daily reporting, geographic information system (GIS), imaging, and database management. Additionally, we conducted site assessments for private property damage and debris removal in accordance with FEMA’s Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) program.
We accomplished debris removal by focusing on only certain zip codes at a time. The innovative planning and cooperation allowed the city/parish to communicate easily with the public when an area was scheduled for debris removal.
We removed 229,000+ cubic yards of debris, along with 246+ tons of debris in 5,139 total loads. 60+ APTIM personnel monitored field operations at four approved sites throughout the parish and identified and monitored removal of 6,000+ hazardous trees and limbs. Our monitoring efforts resulted in the city/parish recovering all eligible cost of debris removal operations from FEMA.
We completed debris removal operations under the original schedule of 45 days.